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(Kompiltb from l^c g^iuicnt ginnals, t^c most |iiitljentjc PS. mh ^rbteb 
fietorbs, fluent lUstattlus, tit., tit. 

Tuuia Xe^/ovaa ia-ri. — Heredotus, Euterpe, ch. 99. 

" I have related what I have seen, what I have thought, and what I have learned by 
inquiry." — Caky's Translation. 






§\Mm : 










Mt Lord, 

The associations of a History of a locality in wliicli your Lord- 
sliip must necessarily take a deep interest, from tlie manifold ties, both 
ancient and modern, which so intimately connect you with many of the 
transactions recorded in the following pages, and your Lordship's well- 
known attainments as a scholar and antiquarian, would, independently 
of your large possessions and eminent position in the county, remind me of 
your Lordship as the most appropriate personage to whom such a book 
should be dedicated. 

I therefore take the liberty of requesting your acceptance of a work 
of no inconsiderable toil, in which I have endeavoured, faithfully and 
impartially, to record events, the perusal of wliich, it is to be hoped, may 
both interest and instruct. 

I have the honour to be, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obedient servant, 


Limerick, February 20, 1866. 




I HAVE already stated, in tlie prospectus of tliis book, that historical truth, 
local and general interest, fulness of details, and the publication of new and 
authentic matter, derived from original sources, we"'e the main objects which 
I proposed to myself in undertaking the laborious and difficult task of 
writing a History of Ancient and Modern Limerick. Originally appearing 
at intervals in the ephemeral shape of a contribution to the newspaper of 
which I am the proprietor, the plan of the work, as at first contemplated, 
included only the history of the last sieges ; but the resources developed 
in the course of the studies which I found indispensable for a competent 
discharge of the duties that I had undertaken, accmnulated so much 
interesting matter, and attracted so much attention and encouragement from 
some or our most eminent scholars and patriots, that I was induced to 
think of giving these occasional contributions to local history a fuller and, 
I hope, a more permanent form. My own enthusiastic love of the subject, 
no doubt, as well as these friendly criticisms, made me underrate the labour 
and care, to say nothing of the other high qualifications and responsibilities 
involved in such an undertaking ; and, in fact, as my materials increased 
by the addit'on of family muniments, pedigrees, and official documents, I 
found that the publication of my notes and memoranda alone would 
extend to thr^e or four volumes. Of course, so weighty a work was 
beyond my private means, upon which exclusively I have had to rely for 
the publication of my book, and which have been the more heavily taxed 
because I resolved to pubfish it at so extremely low a price, compared with 
other works of the kind. I had, therefore, to choose a medium between 
a historical epitome, and a publication which would have been more fitly 
called Historical Collections for a History of Limerick, than by its present 

In such circumstances, fine writing, ambitious narrative, studied graces 
of style, and philosophical reflections, have often to be sacrificed to the 
stern requirements of facts and figures. In a work too which alternates be- 
tween sublimity and commonplace, sustained elevation, or even equality 
of style, is not to be always expected. All that could reasonably be looked 
for was truth, lucidity and interest of narrative, and accuracy of in- 
formation, and whether I have reahzed these objects or not, public opinion 
will find no difficulty in deciding. My chapter on the county history, 
topography, and antiquities, alone contains condensed information which 
might easily be expanded into a goodly volume, for which, in fact, I still 
have copious materials in MS. I hope, however, my endeavours to render 
the book a readable as well as an instructive one, will not be entirely 
fruitless. As another contribution, collected from the best sources, to our 
local histories, which are so very few when compared with those of other 
countries, the work possesses an additional interest. 


Should it attain the success I hope for, I shall be induced to try the history 
of Tippciary, and perhaps of Clare, for which also I have ample materials. 

As for the spirit in which any reflections I have made in the course of 
the work may have been conceived, I think it unnecessary to offer any 
apology. Whatever my opinions may he on political, social, or religious 
subjects, I have not allowed them to interfere with strict impartiality as a 
historian. Had I, or could I have, written without makir^^ any reflections 
at all, I might as well have published a dry list of chronological events, 
instead of a history, and I could, in such a case, neither have felt nor 
imparted that degree of interest to the work which would insure its 
popularity or even its perusal. Such as it is, its publication in book form 
has originated in a suggestion of my venerable friend the Most Rev. Dr. 
Leahy, the learned and gifted Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. 

That scarcely any diversity of opinion exists as to whether another 
History of Limerick was required at the present day, is, I beheve, a settled 
point. A century has well nigh passed away since John Ferrar compiled 
liis small history and directory ; and more than eighty years have elapsed 
since the second and larger edition appeared. Ferrar drew all his 
materials from the Rev. James White's MSS., omitting much that did 
not suit the times and his patrons, and from Dr. Smith's MSS. in the 
Royal Irish Academy. Of the grand and salient features of the history he 
gave but little ; he suppressed many annals ; whilst the sieges and battles of 
Limerick, the heioism of its defenders, their triumphs and their suflferinfirs, 
are passed over in a very short space: he left untouched many of tre 
principal incidents, even in the sources from which he professed to draw, 
and other more important fountains of knowledge were to him sealed 
altogether. The immense mass of matter which has been brought to light 
in reference to Ireland since he wrote, tlrrough the labours of our archae- 
ologists and historians, through the Royal Irish Academy, the Gaelic 
Society, the Archssological and Celtic Societies, etc., through the extra- 
ordinary labours of my late lamented friend Professor Eugene O'Curry, the 
late Dr. O'Donovan, the late Dr. Petrie, Dr. Todd, etc., attests his deficiency 
in resources which are now abundant. Of the larger history of Fitzgerald 
and MacGregor, although possessing a certain amount of merit, which I am 
far from undervaluing, it will not, I trust, be deemed rash or invidious to 
say, that it is quite as much a history of Ireland as of Limerick ; that its 
copious details, even if desirable in a local history, are often put forward 
upon the authority of some persons who were either imperfectly acquainted 
with the subject, or partially disqualified from offering their statemenis and 
opinions by personal and political prejudices and prepossessions ; and that a 
very considerable quantity of the matter which fills the two bulky volumes, 
can have little interest to readers who sit down with the wish to be in- 
formed of the facts of the particular history which the title page pro- 
fesses to give. Thanks to the labours of recent archEeologists, to the wide 
spread of education, and to the more intimate intercourse between men of 
all opinions which exists in these days of frequent and rapid locomotion, 
many of the prejudices against nationality, so common even in the days 
of the last historians of Limerick, have already passed or are rapidly 
passing away, and have been succeeded by a spirit of honest inquiry, can- 
did admission, and a love of historical truth, which have been greatly 
fostered by the eminent men and by the publications to which we have 


already referred. I do not write by way of depreciating those wlio have 
trod the anxious path of local historical research before the present work 
was projected and undertaken; but I desire to show that a History of 
Limerick was an absolute desideratum which ought to be supplied. I 
have been engaged for some years, not only in collecting and preparing 
materials for this work, from rare and valuable published authorities, but 
I have supplied myself with manuscript materials of unquestionable autho- 
rity — chiefly amongst them the MSS. of Dr. Thomas Arthur, a native of 
Limerick, the friend of Sir James Ware, the physician of nearly all the 
eminent Irishmen of his time, and a relative of the illustrious Archbishop 
Creagh; to which MSS. there appears to have been little or no access 
before those invaluable materials for the history of Limerick came into 
my possession, though constituting some of the most ancient written 
records of many of the most important of local events — some of the most 
curious and interesting of which have never hitherto seen the light, but 
all of which I have given. The White Manuscripts, from which Ferrar 
professed to draw, but much of which, I repeat, he left untouched, I have in 
my possession at p/esenl:; and I have also had access to the interesting 
chartulary and annals of Edmond Sexten, preserved in the British Museum. 
I should add that some years ago I purchased the valuable Limerick 
MSS. of John DAlton, Esq., M.R J.A., from which I have derived most im- 
portant matter. Most of the other authorities I give below. As an 
instance of the fuller and more accurate details, to which I flatter myself 
this history will owe soire of its advantages over former ones, I may refer 
to the period of the Si:ges, a portion of the history to which Limerick is 
indebted for its chief celebrity, and visited by the lovers of national 
independence and military heroism. In treating of this and other parts 
of the work, I can safely aver I have spared no laborious exertions to 
acquaint myself both by reading, inquiring, and personal investigation, 
with all the narratives and traditions which bear upon the subject. On 
the history of its religious houses, and on the ecclesiastical history gene- 
rally of Limerick, I have also taken particularly great care, and expended 
considerable time and labour, constantly referring to original documents, 
such as the Black Book of Limerick, for the more ancient details, and to 
original sources of information for the more modern, and setting down 
nothing for which I had not suflicient authority, although I am not of 
course so vain as to think I have escaped an occasional error. 

In the list of authorities the reader will find, I hope, a sufficient 
guarantee of my industry as a student, and fidelity as a historian; 
but it would be ungrateful to omit my acknowledgment for many 
obligations conferred by kind friends who have consulted the public 
libraries for me, and lent me their family papers and other useful 
materials, besides other literary assistance. In the history of the Catholic 
Bishops after the Reformation, I have to express my thanks for the 
valuable assistance of the learned antiquarian, Mr. Hanna of Ballykilner, 
county Down. 

The present Lord Gort has most obligingly furnished me with many 
interesting records, and valuable notes from the Carew MSS., now in the 
Lambeth Library ; and his brother, the Hon. John P. Vereker, late Lord 
Mayor of Dublin, has supphed me with much available matter from, his own 
interesting collections of papers. For the deeply interesting notes on the 


Jesuit Fathers, I am indebted to tlie'kindness of tlie Rev. Father Hogan, 
S.J., a laborious and patient searcher after historical truth in this respect. 
L. Waldron, Esq., D.L., the late MP. for the county Tipperary, has 
afforded me information as to the existence of materials in the British 
Museum, etc., whilst De Lacy Pierce, Esq., and his nephews, of the 
Adelphi Chambers, Lo.idon, have most obUgingly contributed various 
illustrative documents derived from the same source, and from their own 
historical collections and papers. I have got some notes, too, of much 
interest, from the Hon. Robert O'Brien, from General Sir Charles R. 
O'Donnell, and from the late lamented John Windele, Esq., Cork; while 
in translation, research, revision, and general literary assistance, I have 
enjoyed the constant, efficient, and friendly aid of Thomas Stanley 
Tracey, Esq., A.B., ex-Schol. T.C.D., who was conveniently near me. 

The reader will find in the Index the fullest references to almost every- 
thing in the book besides what is contained in the table of contents, the 
latter, in general, giving only the chief heads of the subjects in. the text. 

List of principal authorities used in this work: — 

Annals of Four Masters, 

Annals of Munster, 

Annals of Ulster, 

Aphonsmical Discovery, etc., MS., T.C.D, 

Archdall's Monasticon, 

Arthur MSS.. 

Anderson's Ireland, 

Atkinson's View, etc., 

Billing's Fragmentum Historicura, 

Black Book of Limerick, 

Book of Friars' Preachers of Limerick in 

British Museum, 
Boate's Natural History, 
Borlase's Rebellion, 
Bourchier's Historia Ecclesiastics Francis- 

Book of Distribution of Irish Forfeited 

Burgundian Library MSS. (Brussels), 
Book of Rights, 
Bruodin's Chronicles, 
Buchanan's History of Scotland, 
Cambrensis (Giraldus) Irish History in MSS. 
Camden's Britannia, 
Camden's History of Elizabeth, 
Campbell's Philosophical Survey, 
Campbell's Political Survey, 
Clyun and Dowling's Annals, 
Campion's History of Ireland, 
Carte's Life of Ormonde, 
Castlehaven's Memoirs, 
Clarendon's History of Rebellion, 
Comerford's History of Ireland, 
Colgan's Acta Sanctorum, etc., 
Conway Correspondence MSS., 
Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, 
Cro8sle)'8 Peerage of Ireland, 
Curry's Civil Wars of Ireland, 
Carve's Itinerary, 
Dalton's MSS., 

De Burgo's Hibernia Dominioana, 
De Burgo's Extracts from the Protestant 

Dalrymple's Memoirs, 
Dewar oa Ireland, 

Dunraven's (Earl of) Memorials of Adare, 

Ferrar's History of Limerick, 

Fitzgerald and M'Gregor's Hist, of Limerick. 

Frazer's Handbook of Ireland, 

French's (Bishop of Ferns) Unkinde Deser- 
tor and Bleeding Iphegenia, 

Froissart's Chronicles, 

Gordon's Ireland and Rebellion, 

Hamilton's Calendar of State Papers, 

Hanmer's Chronicles, 

Hardiman's History of Gal way, 

Harleian MSS. in Brit. Mus. 

Harris's Hibernica, 

Harris's History of Down, 

Heyjin's Historj', 

Ilolingshed's Chronicles, 

Hoveden's History, 

Keating's History of Ireland, 

Kilkenny Arcliasological Society's Journal, 

Keogh's Botanologia and Zoologia, 

King's State of the Irish Protestants, 

King James's Irish Army List, 

Lewis's Topographical Dictionary, 

Lanigan's Ecclesiastical History, 

Liber Hymnorum, 

Local Traditions, 

Ledwich's Antiquities, 

Leland's History of Ireland, 

Leyden's Agonia et Victoria; Martyrum 

London Gazette, 1650-1-2, etc.. 

Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, 

Ludlow's Memoirs, 

Lynch's Law of Elections in Ireland, 

Lynch's Feudal Dignities, 

Lynch's Cambrensis Eversus, 

Lloyd's Ancient Church Government in Eng- 
land and Ireland, 

Mason's Statistical Survey, 

Mason on Irish Parliaments, 

Marlborougli's Chronicles, 

Morria's Calendary of the Patent and Close 
Rolls of Chancery, 

MacCurtin's Vindication, etc., 

Memoirs of an Octogenarian (J. Boche,Esq). 



M'Dermot's History of Ireland, 

Mona«ticon Ilibernicum, 

Molyneux's Diary of the Siege, 

MS Annals (unpublislied) of County and 

City of Limerick, 
MSS. collections of the Smyt'a Papers, etc. 
Morrison's Itinerary, 
Massingliam's Florilegium, etc., 
Macaulay's (Lord) History of England, 
Nairne's Stuart State Papers, 
O'Heyne's History of the Dominicans, 
O'Reilly's History of Ireland, 
O'Reilly's Irish Writers, 
O'Connor's Keruni Hibernicarum Scriptores, 
O'Halloran's Histoiy of Ireland, 
O'Renehan s Collections, 
O'Curry's MS. Matt-rials, 
Orrery's State Letters, 
Ouseley's Al!5. Corrections and Emendations 

of Ferrar, 
Petty's Survey of Ireland, Tracts, etc., 
Pacata Hibernia, 

Petrie's Round Towers, Tara, etc., 
Parker's (Captain) Memoirs, 
Parliamentary Gazeteer of Ireland, 
Philopater Irenseus, 
Reports of Commissioners of Public Records, 

Report of the Great Fishery Trials of Mal- 

comson veisiis O'Dea, etc. 
Rutty's Mineral Spas, etc. 
Rushworth's Historical Collections, 
Rymer's Foedera, 
Report of Corporation Commissioners, 

Rothe's Analecta Sacra, 

Reports on the Fisheries, 

Se.xten's Chnrtulary in British Museum , 

Smith's Histories of . Waterford, Cork, and 

Southwell MSS., 
Spenser's View of Ireland, 
Strafford's Memoirs, 
Sir John Davies's Historical Tracts, 
Strafford's Letters, 
Stanihurst De Rebus Hibernicis, etc., 
Story's Civil Wars of Ireland, 
Stuart's History of Armagh, 
Seward's Ti.pographia Hiberuica, 
Smith's MSS. in the R.I. A., 
State Paper ( iffice Records, 
State Papers of Henry VIIL, 
1 ours in Ireland (by several authors), 
Vallancey's Irish Collections, 
Voltaire's Siecle de Louis XIV., etc., 
Wakefield's Ireland, 
Walshe's Remonstrance and Letters, 
Ware's Antiquities, Bishops, History, etc., 
White's M8S., 
White's Apologia, 
Wynne's History of Ireland, 
Wood's Ancient Ireland, 
Wright's Ireland, etc.. 
Walker's Irish Bards, 
Walker's Dress and Armour of the Ancient 

Warner's History of Irish Rebellion, 
Watters's Irisii Birds. 
Young's Tour, 

These, and a great number of others, are the authorities, to which 
reference has been made, and from which matter has been collated by me. 
In the Appendices 1 have added a considerable quantity of matter which 
was not available until the latest moment; and I contemplate, in the next 
Edition, to supply such additional facts and historical matter as may be 
de /eloped by the State Papers, etc., in the course of publication. To 
unavoidable errors, which I have endeavoured, as far as possible to correct, 
the reader will, I hope, extend a generous forbearance. 


February 20th, 1866. 


Map of City of Limerick in 18G6, to faco title page. 

Thomond Bridge, King Jolin's Castle, etc, , ... ... ... 60 

Inscription and Figure, ... ... ... . ... ... 152 

Clare and Limerick Tokens, ... ... ... ... ... 200 

Story's Map of Siege, 1690, ... ... . . ... ... 237 

French Map of Limerick and its Fortifications in 1691, ... ... ... 258 

Heads of James II., and "William III., .. ,. ... ... 271 

Inscription on Town Fish House in 1582, ... ... ... ... 2G2 

Fac simile of inscription on tomb of Galfridus Arthur, ... ... ... 678 

Fac-simile of inscription and Castle over Mungret Gate, ... ... 756 


On the appearance of the first edition of this work, in 1866, it was 
awarded the kindest reception possible by all classes and parties in Ireland, 
in England, in America, &c. It was most favourably reviewed by the 
leading Literary Critics in the Magazines and Journals, fcc, and it was 
universally admitted to bean important, well-authenticated record of the 
highest interest in relation to the ecclesiastical, civil and military history 
and antiquities of Limerick, and other historical portions of Ireland. 
We have not space for extracts from the numerous notices with which 
the Author has been complimented in approbation of his Work; but one, 
which we value most, we cannot omit. On the 2nd of June, 1870, the 
late illustrious Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Pius IX., vouchsafed most gra- 
ciously to honor the Author with a Letter, which came to him through 
his venerable and respected friend, the Right Rev. Monsignore Kiuby, the 
distinguished Rector of the Irish College in Rome, and titular bishop of 
Lita. The following is a copy of the Letter of his Holiness : — 


DiLECTo FiLio Mauritio Lenihan, Limericum. 
PIUS p.p. IX., 
Dilecte FiLi, Salutem et Apostolicam Benedictionem. 

Quamquam lingufe difficultate impediti legere nequeamus Limeri- 
censem Historiam a te conciunatam ; cum tamen didicerimus te in hoc opere 
obeundo totum fuisse in restituenda veritate factorum, in viudicanda Catho- 
licorum fide et agendi ratione a criminationibus adver.sariorum, et in religionis 
nostrse sanctissimre causa tuenda, tibi gratulamur, et oblatum volumen grato 
excipientes auimo, ipsi faustuni ominamur exitum et votis tuis plane res- 
pondentem. Diviui vero favoris auspicem et paternre nostrte benevolentias 
pignus Apostolicam Benedictionem tibi peramanter impertimus. 
Datum Eomo3 apud S. Petrum die 2 Junii, anno 1870. 
Pontificatus nostri anno vicesimoquarto. PlUiS P.P. IX. 


Beloved Son, — Health and Apostohc Benediction. Although hindered by 
the diflSculty of the language, we are unable to read the " History of 
Limerick," so elegantly composed by you, yet, as we have learned that in 
the execution of this work you have devoted yourself wholly to the restoration 
of the truth of the facts, and the vindication of the faith and conduct of the 
Catholics from the false charges of adversaries, and to the defence of the 
cause of our Most Holy Pteligion, we congratulate you, and, receiving the 
offered volume with a thankful mind, we predict an auspicious result for 
yourself, and fully answering to your wishes. And, as a presage of Divine 
favour and a pledge of our paternal benevolence, we most affectionately impart 
to you the Apostolic Benediction. 

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on the 2nd day of June, in the year 1870, 
of our Pontificate the Twenty-fourth. 

To our beloved sou Maurice Lenihan, PIUS P.P. IX., 


We have brought down the Annals to the present day, and added matter of interest 

and value 


I. Foundation and occupation of the city by the Danes. — Origin of the name 
of Limerick. — Earliest notices. — Introduction of Christianity into — Wars 
of the Danes, etc. ... ... ... ••• 1 

II. Keign and achieyements of Brian Boroimhe, etc., etc. ... ... 10 

III. Brian and his immediate successors ; and the Kings of Thomond, etc. ... 17 

IV. The Ivings of Thomond, continued, etc., etc. ... ... 22 

Y. Annals of Thomond.— Monasteries founded by Donald O'Brien, King of 

Limerick, etc., etc. ... ... ... ... 25 

VI. The Norman Invasion, etc. ... ... ... 35 

VII. Limerick under the English.— Charters and Grants, etc. ... 47 

VIII. Annals of Thomond. — Grants, etc. ... ... ... 63 

IX. Annals of Thomond. — The Desmonds and the Butlers, etc ... 67 

X. Limeiick under the Tudors, etc. ... ... ... 69 

XI. End of the Kingdom of Thomond. — Rivalry between Limerick and Galway, 

etc. ... ... ... ... ... 73 

XIL Limerick under the Tudors, continued.— Henry VIII.— Lord Leonard Gray, 

— Edmond Sexten, etc. ... ... ... ... 75 

XIII. Successes of the Enghsh. — Fruits of the Reformation, etc. ... 88 

XIV. Limerick under Queens Mary and Elizabeth.— The Wars of the Desmonds.— 

The Butlers and O'Briens. — Confiscations, etc. ... ... 94 

XV. Progress of Sir H. Sidney. — Extraordinary customs of the Irish. — The 

Deputy's visit to Lord Power, at Ciuraghmore.- Battle of Manister, etc. 99 

XVI. MartyrdomofBishopHeily and Father O'Rourke. — Continued atrocities, etc. 103 
XVII. English Progress. — Persecutions continued. — Arrival of the Spaniards, etc. 107 

XVIII. Fate of the Earl of Desmond.— Grants.— Richard Creagh, etc. ... 109 

XIX. Arrival of Earl James. — Donnell's invasion of Tliomond. — Jail Deliveries. 

— Fate of the Insurgents and Spaniards, etc. ... •• 125 

XX. Rejoicings in Limerick on the Death of Queen Elizabeth. — Hopes and Dis- 
appointments. — Flight of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, etc. ... 130 
XXI. Persecutions on account of religion. — Execution of John Burke, Baron 

of Brittas. — A new charter. — Indenture of Perambulation, etc. ... 133 

XXII. Inquisitions. — Corporate spoliation. ... ... ... 138 

XXIII. AHairs in the City. — Dr. Thomas Arthur. — Projected Catholic Universities. 

— Wentworth. — Archbishop Usher, etc. ... ... 143 

XXIV. The Civil War. — The Confederation Refusal of the Corporation to receive 

the Papal Envoy. — Correspondence between the Mayor and the Envoy. — 
Occupation of the King's Castle by the Confederates. — Murrough of the 
Burnings, etc. ... ... ... ... 148 

XXV. The Apostolic Nuncio Rinuccini.— Siege of Bunratty Castle. — Estimate of 
Ormonde. — Te Deum in St. Mary's Cathedral. — Ormonde's peace de- 
nounced, — Bourke deposed. — Fanning constituted Mayor. — Atrocities of 
Murrough of the Burnings at Cashel, etc ... ... 155 

XXVI. Cromwell sent to Ireland, — Continued negociations. — Limerick threatened. — 

Ormonde and the Bishop. — Bishop O'Moloney Progress of Ireton, etc. 165 

XXVII. Ireton's campaign. — The siege of Limerick.— Terrible sufferings of the 

citizens. — Treason of Fennell, etc. ... ... ... 171 

XXVIII. Confiscation. — Oppressive taxation of the citizens. — Fearful burdens. — 

Fleetwood, etc. ... ... ... ... 184 

XXIX. The High Court of Butchery. — Savage executions. — Court of Adventurers. ]87 
XXX. Departure of the Irish for foreign lands. — CromweU's ParUament. — Whole- 
sale confiscations, etc. . . . . ... 190 

XXXI. Death of Cromwell. — Accession of Charles II. — Disappointment of Catho- 
lics. — Rewards of the Regicides and Adventurers. — Grants. — Trades- 
men's Tokens, — Grant of Fisheries to Sir George Preston.— Lord Orrery. — 
Corporation doings, etc. ... ... ... 196 

XXXII. Important Events. — Schomberg lands at Carrickfergus. — King James 
arrives in Kinsale, and proceeds to Dublin. — Landing of King William. — 
The Battle of the Boyne, — Flight of James to France. — Tlie march of 
William to Limerick, etc. ... ... ... 212 


XXXni. The Siesre of 1090.— Magnificent achievement of Brigadier Sarsfield.— 
The Black Batttry.— Heroic Devotion and Bravery of the Women 
of Limerick.— Overthrow of Wilhaui, etc. ... ... 226 

XXXIV. Effect of the Defeat at Limerick on William.— Efforts to repair his 
losses Renewed Exertions of the Defenders. — Anoiher Military Ex- 
pedition sent to Ireland.— Parliamentary Proceedings.— The Campaign 

of 1691. — Limerick again besieged The surrender. —The Treaty, etc. 251 

XXXV. Assemblage of the Irish Army on the King's Island — Addresses by 
the Catholic Bishops and Clergy to the Soldiers— by SarsKeld, Earl of 
Lucan. Wauchop, etc. — Preparations for embarkaiion — The em- 
barkation.— Farewell to Patrick Sarsfield, etc. ... ... 275 

XXXVI. Legal Status of the Irish Catholics under the Treaty.— How the Treaty 

was observed. — Enactment of the Penal Code.— Horrors on horrors, etc. 288 
XXXVII. The Forfeited Estates.— The Sales.— Sir William Kings death.— 

Orangeism, etc., etc. ... ... ••. 298 

XXXVIII. The Orange military riots in Limerick in 1710. — Statement of Dr. Smyth, 
the Protestant Bishop. — Depositions.— Statement of the Officers and 
their Petition. — Suspension of the officers and final dismissal of Major 
Chaytor, etc. .. ... ... — 310 

XXXIX. Troubles in the corporation of Limerick — Accusations and recrimina- 
tions. — Lovalty and disloyalty. — Petitions and counter-petitions. — 
Persecutions, etc. — Position of the Cat! lolic Clergy, etc. _ ... 317 

XL. Perseverance of the Catholics of Limerick in the face of persecution. — ^The 
first Catholic Bishop since the Sieges.— Corporate misdeeds. — Lieutenant 
General Sir Thomas Pearce. — Execution of the Kev. Timothy Kyan. — 
Extraordinary doings, etc. ... ... ... 322 

XLI. Further illustrations of tiie spirit of the times.— A general election. — 

Guilds of trade.— The Battle of the Mayor's Stone.— The Theatre, etc. 328 
XLIL Civic rivalry.— St. Michael's Parish— The Great Frost — Fearful Suffer- 
ings of the people,— Whitfield's visit to Limerick, and his opinion of 
the inhabitants.— The land and its changes.— Misdeeds of the corpora- 
tors again. ... ... ... ••• 332 

XLIII. Efforts of the Catholics.— New chapels built.— Paintings and painters.— 
New Projects.— Grants. — Limerick ceases to be fortified.— Kemoval 
of the gates and walls.— Petitions to Parliament and investigation.— Cor- 
porate iniquity exposed jSoble conduct of the anti-corporate Protes- 
tants, etc., etc. 

XLIV. Elections under the Octennial Bill.— Progress of Limerick, etc., etc. 359 

XLV. A Retrospect.- How the penal laws operated.— Lists of conformists, etc. 372 
XL VI. The Irish Volunteers.— The Career of John Fitzgibbon, Earl of Clare.— 
An Election.-The Rebellion of '08.— Trial of Francis Arthur, Esq.— 
The Rtign of Terror.— The Act of Union.— Progress_of events, etc.— 
"Garryowm". — Improvements, etc. ... ... 382 

XLVIL State of the Catholic Cause.— A Catholic College for Limerick Diocese.— 
Agitation of the Veto. — NoMe comluc!; of the Catholic bishop and 
clergy of Limerick, etc.— State of the county of Limerick.— Wellington. 
—Dr. Milner.—O'Conuell.— Gallant Limerick men abroad.— Roche.— 
De Lacy. — Gough. — Progress of events, etc. ... ... 422 

XLVIII. Locomotion.— Mr. Bianconi— Educational reform.— Introduction of the 
Christian Brothers into Limerick.— Thomas Spring Rice, Esq. — " Chak- 
ing" of Mr. Tuthill.— Disturbances after visit of George IV.— Terms 
offered by the insurgents, etc., etc. . . ... 441 

XLIX. Atrocious Murder of Ellen Scanlan, alias Hanly, in the county of 
Limerick. — Conviction and execution of John Scanlan, the murderer. — 
Progress of events. — The Insiirrectiuu Act. — Local acts, etc. ... 449 

L. New and Old Bridges of Limerick.— Wellesley Bridge — Athlunkard 
Bridge. — Park Bridge. — Ball's Bridge.— Thomond Bridge. — ISew and 
Mathew Bridge.— Projecte 1 Railroads — Waterworks. — Barrington's 
Hospital. — Statistics of Travelling, etc., etc. ... ... 469 

LI. The Struggle for Emancipation. — ihe Clare Election. — Emancipation. — 
Remarkable Events.— Gunpowder exjlosion.— Parliamentary reform. — 
Municipal reform. — Death of Willam IV. — Proclamation of Queen 
Victoria. — A General election, etc., etc. ... ... 481 

LII. Foundation of two convents in Limt-rick. — The Temperance Movement. — 

Triumphant visit of Father Mathew. — Great Repeal demonstration, etc. 492 
LIII. Limerick under the Reformed Corporation, etc., etc. ... ... 496 

LIV. Early Ecclesiastical History of Limerick. — Description and Annals of 
Muugret. — St. Is'essau and his Contemporaries and Successors. — St. 




Munchin or Manclienus.— St. Munchin's Church.— King Donald's 
Charter, etc., etc. 
LV. The Succession of Bisliops.— Donald O'Brien.— St, Mary's Cathedral- 
Donald's Estabhshnient of the Chapter.— The Black Book of Limerick.— 
Inquisition of Meyler Fitz-Henrj.— Declarations and resolutions of the 
chapter, etc. ... ___ ^ k^q 

LVI. Dealings with the Church po.ssessions.— Taxation of Pope" Nicholas.— The 
taxation attributed to Bishop O'Dea.— Parishes and patrons, etc., pre- 
T-iTTT ^^^'■''^'^ '"^^^>*^'sMSS., etc., etc.-The Succession of Bishops, etc. ... 555 
liVII. Bishop Cornelius O'Dea.— His mitre, crozier, and seal— His improve- 
ments.— State of affairs in his time,— Grant of Henry VI. to the 
citizens.— The Cathedral of St. Mary's.— Monuments and monumental 
T irTTT rru'^®^^AP*\°°v~'^'^® bishops in succession.— The « Reformation", etc., etc. 569 
i^Vlll. I he Catholic bishops in succession.— Nachten,— Magrath.— Richard 
Arthur.— Appointment and distribution of preachers by Rinuccini oa 
the restoration of the Cathedral.—Bishop O'Dwyer's.— Particulars of the 
atrocities during Ireton's occupation of Limerick.— The monuments 
in bt. Mary's cathedral during its occupation by the Protestants,— The 
Protestant bishops in succession. 
LIX. The Catholic bishops in succession.— Dowley.— O'Molon'ey.— O'Keeffe.— 
Lacy.— O'Kearney.— Nomination, etc., of the Hon. and Rev. John Butler. 
^- ^f-J-— Conway.— Young.— Tuohy,— Ryan,— Butler. ... 611 

-.^^- The Rehgious Orders.-Catholic Churches.— Institutions, etc., etc. 642 

t-Fttt ™^s*a"'^' Anglican, and Dissenting Churches. 684 

J.X111. A list of the Provosts, Mayors, Bailiffs, and Sheriffs of the city of 
-. _-^ ■^'.'"^"pk from the year 1105, to the year 186G, etc. 
LXIV. Historical and descriptive notices of remarkable places in the county 
of Limenck. -^ 






Appendix A. Principal Charters of Limerick.-Limerick grants, and where to be 
found, not abstracted,— Charters and Grants of Fairs, etc-Cather- 
kenhsh, Limerick County, etc.— Charters to Kilmallock Boro',— Askea- 
ton rJoro , ... 

Appendix B. Representatives in Parliament for the City of Limerick since a.d, 1559 
Representatives in Parliament for County of Limerick since a.d 1585 ' 
Representatives in Parliament for Kilmallock from a.d. 1583 to the Union. 
Representatives in ParUament for Askeaton from the year 1613 to the 

A^^^n^-'' n ?fh Sheriffs of the County Limerick ;ince the year l'371. '"' 743 

Appendix D. Caherivahala.-redamore and Friarstown.-Hospital.-Raleighstown.- 

Shanagolden - Pallaskenry. - Greane. - Memorial Stones - Round 

J owers- The so-called Danish Forts and Tombs of the early Irish.— 

lossil Deer.-Crops and climate of Limerick.— The Natural Historv of 

* .,. T, I'l'n^ick— The White Knight. ... lurai msiory ot 

Appendix E. Grants under the Commission of Grace.-MSS. Brit.' Mus.-The Walls 

*°i^^!,^^°^^>S''''''^""P* ^^°''^"" of the ^''^»»on by the Williamites. 
-IJie Ruined House at Singland.-The English Lines.-A Pluralist— 
Island"" Siege.— Penal Laws.— Articles of Limerick._The King's 

Appendix F. Miscellaneous Notes;-" The Fifteen Corporations'-i-The Limerick ^^^ 
Cemeteries.-Castle Troy.-Occupants of Houses in Limerick.-The 
Recordership of Limerick.- Limerick Athenajum.-The Environs of 
n^k TniT Softer Houses-.-Newspapers.- Sarsfield Testimonial.- 
A V n rnu^f.T*^'^^^-— The First Mayor of Limerick. ... 7.-,0 

Appendix G. ^he Limerick City Regiment of Militia.-County of Limerick Eegimeni 
A ..• TT 0^ 1* .^-"^"'""te^^ Corps of the County. . 7^^ 

Appendix H. The ancient Arms of Limerick, " 7ka 

Appendix I. r.minent Natives of Limerick,-Literature, etc,-Na;al and Milita;; 
Sutts ^^T^'- ^^ ^.^'^'' Cathedral (note on).-Civic Hospi- 
S-^ f ~; .^ ^""^ Lmierck coins and t<,ken8 (note on).-Deathof Lord 
Mon eagle.-Quarries of n,arble and ancient houses in Limerick - 
Whitamore'scastle.-Bishop John O'MolunylL (note on). 757 







The City of Limerick, the principal part of wHch is bmlt on an island on tlie 
South side of the Shannon, is situated in 52° 40' north latitude, and 8" 35' 
west longitude, at the interior extremity of the estuary of the river Shannon, 
between the counties of Limerick and Clare, and 129 miles W.S.W. from 
Dublin. It is a maritime coimty of a city, occupying an area of 6 Of square 
miles, or 38,863 acres, and contained a population of 53,448 in 1851, 
and of 44,476 in 1861. It is connected by Railway with DubHn, Cork, 
Waterford, Ennis, Nenagh, Roscrea, and all the intermediate towns, and a line 
of steamers, the property of the Limerick and London Steam Shipping 
Company, plies between it andLondon and Glasgow, &c. AtSpring tides vessels 
of 600 tons burden can moor at its quays ; whilst large docks, which were 
opened in 1853 by Lord St. Germans, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, add to the 
accommodation for vessels of heavy burden; and from the advantage and beauty 
of its situation, and the extent of navigation which it commands, it must have 
been regarded from the earliest times as a port of great importance, although 
situated so high up the river, and although its navigation is still partially 
obstructed. The site may have been selected as the first part of the Shannon 
fordable above its mouth ; considering its many advantages, it is not surprising 
that in distant ages it attracted the attention of those adventurous strangers, 
who, coming from the rugged coasts and islands of the Baltic, found here 
what they never met in their various wanderings, a good climate, a rich soil, 
and peculiar facihties for carrying on their commercial enterprises.^ Though 
known to the annalists, as we shall presently have occasion to remark, long 
before the Danish invasion of Ireland, the building of the city is generally 
referred to the same time and cause as the foundation of Dublin and Water- 
ford, the time being after the second coming of the Scandinavians, who on 
this latter occasion chose the best parts of the island, which they fortified in 
such a way as the exigencies of the times and the circumstances of the locali- 

> Stftnihurst. 


ties required, and made- them the centres and bases of their commercial and 
miUtary enterprises. Whilst Dublin and Waterford could boast of superior 
advantages from their closer proximity to the sea, Limerick possessed an 
admitted su])eriority in other respects. It conunanded a noble river, crowded 
with fish, which bore the ships of the strangers in safety into the interior of 
a wealthy country, wliich with many other recommendations, made a strong 
impression in after times on King John of England, and caused the city of 
Limerick long to retain its pride of place as " the fairest of all the cities 
in Munster,''^' 

Limerick has been the capital of North Munster (Tuath ]\Ilmmha), which, 
according to Keating, extended from Leim Choncuhulainn (Loop Head) to 
Bealacli Mor (Ballaghmore, in Upper Ossory), and from Shebh Echtghe 
(Slieve Aughty, on the frontiers of the counties of Clare and Galway) to Shebh 
Ebhlinne (now Sleibhte Eheidhlinmidh, in the county of Tipperary) . The 
southern boundary of this great territory is still preserved in that of the 
diocese of Killaloe. The kings of Limerick, accordhig to the Book of Eights, 
gave tribute to the kings of Cashel.'^ 

The notices which occur in ancient writers of the history of Limerick, 
anterior to the coming of the Danes, are neither numerous nor reliable. It 
has been supposed to be the Regia of Ptolemy, a writer who derived his 
information from the discoveries made by the Romans between the age of 
Augustus and the Antanines,^ but the name of Rosse-de-Nailleagh, as it is 
designated in the Annals of Multifarnham, is of higher antiquity, and that of 
Luimneagh, occurring in the Psalter of Cashel, so far back as A.M. 2870, 
and A.M. 3973, when Ireland was divided, and Luinmeach fixed as the western 
extremity of the southern half. 

Hollmshed, who describes Limerick as being amongst the principal cities 
of Ireland of his own time, viz., in the middle of the sixteenth century, gives 
an explanation of the origiri of the name of Limerick which more authentic 
enquiries prove to be apocryphal. Admitting the building of the city by 
Yvoms, he says that at an epoch previous to its foundation, the ground which 
it subsequently occupied was an island stored with grass, upon which in old 
times one of the Irish potentates, while waging war against another native 
king, had encamped ; and of which his numerous cavalry eat up the grass in 
the space of twenty-four hours. From which circumstance he says the place 
was called " Loum-nc-augh,''' that is to say, made bare, or eaten up by horses. 
But in a very ancient legend, which is preserved in the Books of Lecan and 
Balhjmote, and which describes the origin of the name in words translated for 
us from the original by the late lamented Professor O^Curry, a dialogue takes 
place ia which, in reply to the question, " Luimneach, why so called V the 

' Stanihurat 

« " The King of fair Caeaill," 

He is entitled from the Chief of Luimneach of the Sea 

To a splenrlid cheering banquet, 

Thirty vats it is known, 

With the necessary viands. Book of Rights. 

The Restrictions of the King of wide Luimneach [are] 
To liave his stewards on his noble steeds, 
To have but three in his kingly confidence, 
And [that he should] communicate his secret to the queen. 
Tlie prerogatives of this gifted King are, 
That none should be in his full confidence, 
ThnL he be of beautiful form, 

And there he aspire to Teamhair. Book of Rights, p. 203. 

3 Ware. 


follo'wdng answer is given : — There was an appointed meeting held here of the 
men of Munster and the men of Connaught^ to which the respective kings of 
both parties brought their gladiators. These were the two sons of Smucaille, 
the son of Bacdbh, and their names were Rimi and Teabhar (that is. Spear 
and Sword) . Of these champions, one put himself under the protection of 
Bonhbh Dearg (Bone the Eed), the great Tuath Dedanaan Chief of Mag Fe- 
men in Tipperary ; and the other had taken the protection of Dehall, chief of 
the Hill of Crudchain (in Roscommon) . These champions having met in the 
assembly, exhibited specimens of their gladiatorial accomplishments, after 
which, they descended to the strand to compete in single combat for the 
championship of the two Provinces. The hosts, on both sides, were clad in 
gray- green " Luimins" (cloaks), and when the combat commenced, and the 
assembled crowds pressed down to see and enjoy it, the heat became so great, 
that they threw off their " Luimins,''-' in heaps on the strand ; and so intensely 
was their attention engaged by the combatants, that they did not perceive the 
flowing of the tide untd it had swept them away, upon which some of the 
spectators cried out — " Is Luimenochola in t-inbhear anossa/' i.e. " cloaky or 
cloakful is the river now,"*' hence the name Luimenach. " From this legend 
it would appear," says Mr. O'Curry in his letter to the author, "that 
Luimeneach-Liathanglas, (and not Lethanglass) or Luimenach of the Gray 
Green, was the proper old name of Limerick.''^ It is thus it is written in 
Eumann^s Extempore poem on the Sea, composed for the Danes of Dublin 
before A.D. 742, in which year Eumann died.^ 

An early record of the name of Limerick is contained in the Annals of the 
Four Masters,^ where in the 15th year of King Cormac (A.D. 221) a battle, 
we are told, was fought here. A battle, at the same time was fought at a 
place which is supposed to be the HiU of Grian, over PaUasgrene, m the 
barony of Coonagh, Co. Limerick.^ In a century afterwards, viz. in the year 
334, the Great Crunthaun, one of the most remarkable of the ancient Kings 
of Ireland, a descendant from Oliall OUum of the line of Heber, died in 
Limerick. This king succeeded Eochaidh Moighmeodhin upon the throne, 
reigned seventeen years, carried his name into Britain in the reign of Valen- 
tinian, where he was aided by the Picts, who were then his tributaries, — thence 
sailing to Armorica, now Bretagne, in France, he plundered that country, and 
returned with great booty and hostages to Ireland."* He is also mentioned 
by others of our early annalists and historians, and the occasion of his death 
is related as having been caused by the wickedness of his sister, who adminis- 
tered to him a dose of poison.* 

Lovely and attractive for the charms with which even in far distant times 
it was surrounded. Limerick, soon after the arrival in Ireland of the Apostle 
St. Patrick, received the inestimable blessing of Christianity. We are told 
that in the year 434, the first district which St. Patrick visited, after his 
departure from Cashel, was the extensive flat portion of country between 
Cashel and Limerick called Muscrighe Breogain. The apostle founded several 

' Petrie's Round Towers. 

* Annals of the Four Masters. O'Donovan's Edition, Vol, L, p. 113. 
3 Ibid. Note. 

* Bede and Psalter of Cashel. 

* " Having won many battles and wonderful fame, notwithstanding his fine accomplish- 
ments, Criomthan could not secure himself from the large attempts of his sister, Mung Fionn, 
who poisoned him with a prospect to obtain the crown for her son Brian, whom she had by 
Eochaidh Moighmedhin. However, the better to oblige the king to take the fatal dose, sha 
drank it herself, which also dispatched her at Innis Dongulas. The king died near Limerick." 


churches in the district, and left some of his teachers at one of them, viz. Kil- 
feacte. Thence he went to the territory called Arva-cliach, in the adjacent 
counties of IMpperary and Limerick, in part of which, Hy-Cuanach (now the 
Barony of Coonagh) he was at first instantly opposed by the dynast Oldid. 
But a miracle having been performed by the Saint, Oldid and his family were 
converted and baptised ; while at Ara-chihach, Colgan states that Patrick 
foretold many occurrences, among others the foundation of a monastery at 
Kill-ratha, and of a chui'ch at Kill-teidhill, in the county of Limerick. We 
find the Saint next in the tract of country east of Limerick, w^here he was hos- 
pitably entertained by a chieftain named Locan, and met with young N essan, 
whom at the same time he placed over the monastery of Mungret, which he 
had founded. The inhabitants of Thomond, hearing of the advent of St. 
Patrick, crossed the Shannon, for the purpose of seeing him, and when they 
were instructed, were baptised by him in the field of Tir Glas (Terry Glass, in 
Ormond) . He was waited on by prince Carthen, son of Blod, who is said to 
have been converted and baptised at Sanigeal, now Singland, near Limerick. 
Colgan remarks that this family was the same as that of the O'Briens of 
Thomond, and that Carthen was the chieftain of North Munster. 

St. Patrick, on his way to Connaught, passed the Shannon at Limerick ; and 
it was in the vicmity of the city, in Singland (Sois Angel) the Saint is said to 
have seen the vision of the angel. The holy well and stony bed and altar of 
St. Patrick are to this day existing in Singland. IVadition speaks of his having 
preached here. He appomted first Bishop of Limerick Samt Manchin, " a 
rehgious man, having a complete knowledge of the Scriptures, and placed him 
over the subjects of Amailgaid, King of Connaught, then lately converted to 
the Christian faith. The mountain of Knock Patrick, in the western barony of 
Connoloe, county of Limerick, the base of which is washed by the Shannon, 
whose course for sixty miles may be traced from its summit, is the place from 
which tradition alleges our Apostle to have blessed Connaught.' We thus 
catch a glimpse, through the dimness and obscurity of distant time, of the halo 
which encircled the name and character of Limerick. We thus perceive the 
close acquaintance which its inhabitants made with Christianity, when Europe 
for the greater part was shrouded in the darkness of Pagan superstition. 
Were we in search of fm-ther evidences of the early Christian devotion of the 
people of the district, it is supplied by abundant facts. In the fifth century 
St. Sinan founded the monastery of Canons Eegulars of St. Augustine at the 
island of Inniscathy, on the Shannon. In the sixth century St. Ita, an ilhis- 
trious native of the county, "w hose festival is celebrated on the 14th of January, 
founded at Cluain Credhail (Kileedy), a nunnery of Canonesses Regular of St. 
Augustine. St. Eden founded CJlum Claidech in the same century, and St. 
Mochelloch, Kilmaliock, in the seventh century — these two last mentioned 
were for Canons Regular of St. Augustine.^ 

' A beautiful sonnet from tbe pen of the late Sir Aubrey tie Vere, Bart, of Curragh Chase, 
embodies the tradition in lanfjuage of fire and beaiity. — Lamenlntion of Ireland nnd other Poems. 

'•' Alkmnnde gives the order of St. Augustine the first place before all others that were in 
Ireland — first, because it is the most ancient of all the regular orders in general — deriving its 
origin from the apostles themselves, and allowing St. Augustine, afterwards Bishop of Hippo, in 
Africa, only to Iiave formed a particular congregation, which was subsequently divided into many 
others — secondly, it is certain that the particular rules which prevailed in this country in the 
6tli, Gth, and 7th centuries, consisted of religious men who were regular canons, or something 
80 like them, that at the time in which those rules were obliged to be incorporated into tiie rule 
of St. Benedict, or into that of the Regular Canons of St. Augustine, they all made clioice of the 
lulter, as bdr.g much more agreeable to them than that of St. Benedict. In short, so numerous 


Doubt has existed as to the date of the foundation by St. Manchan of the 
Cathedral of Limerick, and as to the time the Saint lived, but this arises from 
the similarity of the name with that of Mancheus, whom the Annals of Ulster 
call Abbot of Menedrochit, and say that he died in 651 or 652. The com- 
memoration of the death of Mancheus is pointed out under the name of 
Manicheus, the " Wise Irishman/' in the books de MirablUhus ScriptnrcB, by 
some erroneously ascribed to St. Augustine. The name too, not onl\^ is not 
unlike, but the times occur exactly, the festival of St. Manchin being celebrated 
in January. 1 St. Manchin hved two centuries at least before the period 
assigned to St. Mancheus by the martyrologies. The Annals of Innisfallen, 
A.D. 567, state there was a great battle fought here in that year. It was 
here that Saint Cumin Fodha, son of Fiachna, Bishop of Clamfearta Breainim 
now Clonfert, died on the 12th of November, A.D. 661, and on this occasion 
Colman-na-Claisagh, the tutor of Cumin, composed these suggestive and 
touching verses which show that the Shannon then was called by the name 
of Lumiueach : — 

" The Lumineach did not hear on its bosom of the race of Leathcluinn, 

Corpse in a boat so precious as he, as Cumine son of Fiachna ; 

If any one went across the sea to sojoarn at the seat of Gregory, (Rome,) 

If from Ireland, he rejoices in none more than the name of Cumin Fodha? 

I sorrow after Cummine from the day his shrine was covered, 

My eye-lids have been dropping tears ; I have not laughed, but mourned 

Since the lamentation of his barque."^ 

These verses estabhsh the fact of the constant mtercourse of Ireland with 
Piome, the uninterrupted devotion of the Irish Bishops to " the mother and 
mistress of all Churches.'" 

Records of the barbarous and unrelenting cruelties of the Danes, of sacri- 
legious attacks made by them on those sacred edifices and holy men which 
were now becoming numerous, are found in the Annals long before Yorus 
surrounded the city with a wall, and erected the fortress which enabled his 
countrymen to hold their position for some ages after against the combined 
strength and opposition of the native Irish. In 843 Foranan, Primate of 
Armagh, was taken prisoner at Cluan-Combarda,' (a place unidentified by 
the commentators) with his rehcs and people, and brought by the pirates to 
their ships at Limerick. The statement is corroborated by the Annals of 
Clonmacnoise, which designate Forannan Abbot of Armagh, and allege thaf 
the crime was perpetrated by the Danes at Cloneowardy, adding that his 
family, attendants, &c., relics and books, were led from thence to the ships 
in Limerick. 

Our annals, during those dark and dismal ages, present but Uttle, on 
which to dwell with satisfaction. The Danes, to retain their hold of maritime 
places, were busy and aggressive. The Irish in turn revenged the injuries 
and injustices of their cruel oppressors ; but in the midst of every difficulty 
and danger, religion was speeding its bright way. The succession of bishops, 
in several of the Irish sees, had continued with regularity since the preaclmig of 
St Patrick.* Up to this period " Luimeuach" was the original name of the 

were the monasteries of the Regular Canons of St. Augustine, not only in the early ages of the 
Irish Church, but at the suppression of the monastic institutions by Henry VIH. and Elizabeth, 
that the number of houses then are said to have had, far and away, exceeded the houses of the 
other orders. — De Burgo's Historical Collection,'!, (fc. 

' Ware. * Annals of the Four Masters. 

' Annals of the Four Masters. * Ware. 


Lower Shannon, as appears from the life of St Carbrach of Lismore,' but in 
the year 861, it ceased to be the name of the river and was usually applied to 
the Danish fortress already referred to, and the city now became known by 
the designation which before had been exclusively given to that portion of 
the river between it and the sea, and by which it is called to this day .2 The 
Danish occupation was ever a source of intense dissatisfaction and conuno- 
tion. Perjietual war was its result ; the invaders, who were everywhere re- 
garded with horror, were no where more detested than in the neighbourhood 
of the Shannon, of which they endeavoured to monopohse to their exclusive 
possession. In 884 the Coimaught men attacked and destroyed numbers 
of Danes. But the day was approaching in which the sacrilegious tyrants were 
destined to meet a decisive check — in which the Irish by their strong arms 
were to win for a season protection and tranquilHty. Cashel had long before 
embraced the Christian faith, had two of its bishops — viz. Olchobar who died 
in 851, and Cenfelad, who died in 872, who were kings as well as bishops; 
and their jurisdiction extended to Emly,^ and they were the predecessors of 
the learned and warlike Cormac, son of CuUenan, who derived from Engusa 
Nafrach the first son of the king of Cashel who was baptised by St. Patrick.* 
The aggressions of the Danes of Limerick had everywhere become so intolerable 
that Cormac resolved to curb their insolence. To reduce the people to order, 
to queU their intestine dissensions, to show the results of those insane 
divisions which even in the time of wliich we treat, had rendered them 
feeble when opposed by a united enemy, was the grand aim of Cormac Mac 
Cullenan, who during the heat of conflicts and troubles ascended the 
throne of Cashel, in 901, and wore the mitre of the united sees of Cashel and 
Emly. His example and influence were all-powerful in the achievement of 
the grand object on which he had set his princely heart. 

" Such," says Keating, " was the state of the kingdom when Cormac 
wore the crown of Munster, that the contests and animosities between the 
petty princes were happily concluded, insomuch, that the Danes, fearing the 
effects of this reconcihation, desisted from their usual hostilities. Though 
the desire of plunder remained and nothing of their savage disposition abated, 
yet they apprehended their lives were in certain danger from the natives, who, 
by their common union and friendship, were able to drive them out of the 
kingdom; and therefore a great number of these foreigners retired to their ships 
of their own accord and bade adieu to the island." We here perceive what one 
able and wise ruler was enabled to effect for his country. 

' Book of Lismore. a "Ware. ' Ware. 

* Annals of the Four Masters. — In the Psalter of Cashel, written by his own hand. Cormac 
thus proclaims the glories of his Dalcasian troops, who always fought for the Kings of Cashel : — 

" May heaven protect the most illustrious tribe 
Of Dalgais, and convey its choicest blessings 
On their posterity. This renowned clan, 
Though meek and merciful as are the saints, 
Yet are of courage not to be subdued. 
Long may they live in glory and renown. 
And raise a block of heroes to the world." 

Keating s History of Ireland, Vol. It- 

Afn'l O'Piij^nn, in his poem, says of them : — 

"' The Dailgaisian troops, with glorj* fired. 
Fought for the honour of the Kings of Cashc), 
And carried into other provinces 
The terror of their arms," 


But Cormac was not destined to remain long in the peaceable possession of 
his rights. Flan, son of MelsechHn, king of Ireland, with a great army 
invaded Munster, A.D. 906, and destroyed it as far as Limerick ; Malachy 
or MelsechHn, who had been king of Temora, ascended the throne of Ireland, 
on the death of Hugh, A.D. 879. Cairbhall, son of Muiregan, aided Flan 
in this expedition : Cormac fled, but the year following, resenting the injuries 
he had sustained, he entered Meath with his u'resistible Dalcassians, over- 
threw Flan in battle, took pledges from him for the performance of certain 
articles of agreement, and returned in triumph to Cashel, where he was wel- 
comed by the joyous acclamations of his people, who regarded him as their 
dehverer from the bondage of domestic as well as foreign enemies.^ The 
spirit of Flan was unsubdued by the triumph of Cormac^s arms ; another and 
a more successful attempt was made by him soon afterwards in 908 to recover 
the losses he had endured. Confederating with the Kings of Leinster and 
Connaught, he again invaded Munster with a powerful force. The opposing 
armies met on the 16th of August on the plains of Moy-Albe; the battle 
was fierce, sanguinary, and protracted, and resulted in the death of the in- 
domitable King-Bishop Cormac, whose army, losing heart at his fall, were 
overpowered ; and on that fatal day most of the Chiefs or Leaders or Princes 
were also killed ; amongst them are noticed Fogertach of Kerry, and KeUach 
of Ossory.^ 

The death of Cormac was speedily followed by farther attempts of the 
Danes to destroy whatever they could lay hands on — to spohate whatever 
they could plunder — to wreak vengeance on the holy places in which the 
monks and rehgious dwelled, and to show that nothmg less than wholesale 
murder and rapine could satisfy their thnst for blood and booty. Freed from 
the authority of Cormac, they roamed wherever they pleased, curbed but 
partially by the native princes, who had again then' own intestine feuds to 
engage them in arms. They now made a successful raid on Clonmacnois, to 
which they had easy access by the Shannon ; they devastated the islands on 
Lough Eibh, destroyed the shipping of Limerick, and carried away immense 
quantities of gold, silver, and all manner of riches from the monasteries and 
shrines in the islands.' They were so daring, in their ruthless prowess, that 
in 922 they were able to make prisoner of O^'Flaherty, son of Inmameen, 
and convey him from the island of Loch Eibh to Lunerick.* These plunder- 
ing expeditions of the Danes were favorite occupations in which they ever and 
anon indulged during these troubled years of then- occupation of Limerick. 
Proceeding from Limerick, their next attempt was on Lough Orisben, and its 

' Ware, and Annals of Four Masters. 

2 Carodacus Shancarvensis (who is quoted by Ware) also says that Cormac was at this time 
killed by the Danes. Ware adds that he remembers having read in an ancient MS. in the 
Cottonian Library, that Cormac was killed by a herdsman at Beanree, near Leighlin, while on 
his knees at prayer, returning thanks to God for the success of his army, which had then been 
engaged. His body was conveyed to Cashel, and there buried. He was learned particularly in 
the antiquities of his country. He wrote, in the Irish language, the Psalter of Cashel, which is 
yet extant, and held in the highest estimation. Ware states that he had some collections from 
it in an ancient parchment book, called "Psalter Namaan," written 300 years at the time he 
mentions the fact ; and that, in the same book, there were many miscellanies, partly Irish and 
partly Latin, collected by ^Engus Celede (Aengus the Culdee), among which there was a bare 
Catalogue, viz. the names only, of the Kings of Ireland, from Heremon to Brian Boroihme. 
Our author remarks that Cashel was heretofore the chief seat of the Kings of Munster, and one 
©f the first Synods of Ireland was held there by St. Patrick, St. Albeus, and St. Declau, iu the 
time of King Engusa. — Ware, Keating, Annals of Four Masters, O'Flahertf/. (^x. 

•■' Annals of the Four Masters, Vol. II., p. fiOl). 

* Annals of Four Masters, Vol. II., p. Gil. 


islands ;' we should remark, that when Connac quelled the Danes in Mun- 
ster, Edward, King of England, conquered them in that country. But in 
Ireland, their power was growing stronger every year, until the coming of 
other events which we are quickly approaching, and in wliich another King 
of Cashv^l arose to bring them to subjection. Not content with ravaging the 
districts bordering on the Shannon, they in 928 encamped in Maiagh Roigne, 
a celebrated plain of Ossory ; but those who remained on Loch Orisben felt 
the vengeance of the Connaught men, who, in 930, committed a great 
slaughter on the Danes. ^ We find, however, that the latter retaUated sorely. 
In the fifteenth year of Donmachadhi, the Danes of Limerick plundered 
Connaught in 932, as far as the plains of Boyle, in the County of Eoscom- 
mon ; in a few years afterwards, Aralt, or Harold, grandson of Imhar, i.e. 
son of Sitric, lord of the Danes of Limerick, was killed in Connaught by 
the Caenraigi of Aidhne in 939.^ 

From the time of their invasion of Ireland in the year 807, to the years 
we have reached, the Danes always ravaged the country with fire and sword. 
They bore a mortal hatred to Christianity and its professors, and their chief 
glory was in the massacre of the Saints who occupied the monasteries and 
cells of the country.^ 

Through these times the page of history is red with details of these atro- 
cities. Victories followed each other on the part of the invaders, until they 
had the surrounding country under a terrorism and subjection, which the 
natives could not remove. It was not, however, without earnest and constant 
efforts and exertions on the part of the Irish princes, to suppress their atro- 
cities, that they were able to persevere. At length in 943, Callachan, King 
of Cashel, taking a lesson out of the book of his illustrious predecessor, 
Cormac, called his chiefs together, exhorted them against the Danes, and as 
no part of Ireland suffered more from their plunders, murders, &c. than 
Limerick, and the borders of the Shannon, Callachan selected the city of. 
Limerick as the field of battle.^ In the second page of the Wars of Calla- 

' Lough Corrib, county Galway, is now the name of the place thus indicated. It appears 
from O'Flaherty's Ogygia (pp. 178-9) that A.M. 2834, this Lake was called after Orbserius, the 
son of Allodius, who had transacted great commercial affairs between Ireland and Britain. 
These are the words of the Ogj'gia : — 

"Orbserius (Filius Alladii, A.M. 2884) tnercator erat negotiationibus inter Hiberniam et 
Brittaniam tractandis insignis; Mananan Mac Lir vulgo dictus : Mananan ob comraercium cum 
Mannia insula, et Mac Lir i. e. mari satus ob nnndi, atque urinandi peritiam ; quod portuum 
quoque discrimina apprime calleret ; ac aeria3 prasscius vicisitudinis a tempestatibus p^caveret. 
Succubuit vero in praelio apud Moycnllen in margine spaciosi lacus Orbsen, qui per Galviura 
fl avium in sinum Galvorensum exoneratur ab Ulliuno Nuadi regis ilibernise per Thadaeum filium 
nepote confossus. Pugnae laco L'lUnus laco Orbsenius nomen indidit ; de his ita Flannus a 
Monasterio — 0' Flaherty's Ogygia pp. 179 — 8. 

* Annals of Clonmarnois, quoted in O'Donovan's Annals of the Four Masters. 

' A Sept seated in the Barony of Kiltartain, county of Galway. This fact is mentioned in 
another way, but to the same effect : — '• Harold O'Hynn, King of the Danes of Lymbrick, was 
killed in Connaught at Katherney." — Annals of the Fovr Masters. 

* Saxo Grammaticus says that Trideltli Froths, and Haco Danos, invested Ireland many j-ears 
before this time ; and Turgesius, it is certain, not only subdued the greater part of Ulster, but 
expelled Farnnan, Archbishop of Armagh, together with all the religious and students. Those 
moats and ratlis which are yet seen in mr.ny parts of the country, and no where, that we are aware 
of, in such great numbers as in the Parish of Kilmealy, county of Clare, and one of which of 
great extent and l)eauty is on the estate of Charles Biaiiconi, Iv'q. D.L., Longfield, Co. Tipperary, 
at Ardmayle, near his residence, are said to have bocti raised by Turgesius and bis followers,' as 
fortifications, and in some instances, as sepulchres for their great men and captains. Wormius 
states that tliis was the customary way of burying the chiefs among the Danes. — Wormius 
i)' Daim Monwiicnlis. Ware, p. .57. 

* " Callachan, King of Soutli Mnnster. as.xembling his chiefs, exhorted them to arm everj'- 
where against the Danep, Mhereupon Limerick was selected for their first attack. A thousand of 


chan, ill tlie old book of Lismore, where the election of that Prince to succeed 
to the sovereignty of Munster about A.D. 920, is described, (writes the late 
Professor O^'Curry to the author), there occurs this passage : — 

" It was then arose the seventeen tribes (of the Eugenians) gracefully and 
readily to inaugurate Ceallachan ^ -h- * ^ -x- 

" The best of those nobles were the tall graceful Sullivan, at the head of 
the festive race of Pingham ; and the accompHshed (in arms) Reardon, at the 
head of the brave Clann Donnohaile ; and the vahant Caelelghe ; and the 
heroic champion Laindecan ; and the brilliant Daineachaidh ; and the brave 
Cuilen ; and the lucky Eeertach ; and the sound active L'lganP It was 
immediately after this inauguration that the King took his resolution to meet 
the Danes ; Heralds were sent out requiring them to surrender Limerick, 
and give hostages for their future good behaviour : the reply of those ma- 
rauders, however, was, " that so far from waiting to be attacked, they would 
march out of the city to give open battle/^ They were as good as their word. 
In four divisions they accordingly marched out of the city. Each of the 
divisions had four hundred men armed with coats of mad, besides hght armed 
troops, and Singland was the ground on which the memorable battle was 
fought — Siugland, which we shall see as we proceed, was the place on which 
other memorable engagements were decided in long ages afterwards. O^Sul- 
livan, who acted as General, under Callaghan, harangued his men in an 
animated speech, which was answered with a clash of shields and swords by 
his soldiers. The fight commenced by a discharge of stones from the slings 
of the troops, by flights of arrows, spears and lances. The heavy armed 
troops then engaged breast to breast in a dreadful contest, while the Danes 
left nothing undone to prevent this furious onslaught of the army of the King 
of South Munster, from making an impression on their troops. Callaghan, 
at length, singled out Amlav (Auliff) the Danish commander, and by one 
stroke of his sword split helmet and skull, and laid him dead at his feet. 
O^'SuUivan followed the bright example and engaged Moran, who was called 
son to the King of Deiunark, and by a well aimed stroke between the helmet 
and breast-plate, cut off his head; O'Keefi'e ran Magnus, the standard- 
bearer, through the body ; and after a gallant defence Louchlin was kUled by 
O^Riordan. The Danes now gave way on every side, and the Irish pursued 
them into the city, putting numbers of them to the sword in their castles 
and houses. But instead of keeping possession of the city CaUachan was 
content with exacting large contributions from the Danes, part of wliich was 
paid down in gold and merchandise, and hostages taken as security for the 
remainder. " This success,'^ says Keating, " gave new life to the prospects 
of the Irish." • 

After this battle CaUachan marched towards Cashel, and plundered the 
country, meeting five hundred Danes he put them to the sword. But this 
victory on the part of Callachan did not queU them sufficiently. Mahon, 
the son of Cennediegh, upon the assassination of Peargna, seized the throne 
of Mmister, and reigned twelve years. Resolving to give the Danes no 
peace, he with his brother Bryan, gave them battle at Sulchoid, now Sollo- 
head, in the county of Tipperary, in which bloody engagement two thousand 

his chosen followers marched upon this service, headed by Callachan, under whom were O'Dono- 
van, O'SuUivan, Keeffe, O'Reardan, O'Landecan, Hugh Mac Cullenan, and other chiefs." 

' This event, or something like it, is thus mentioned by the Four Masters, under a.d. 94o. 
" A battle between the birds of the sea and the birds of the land at Luimneach." (vol, ii. d. 657). 
The birds of the sea are obviously- the pirate Danes. 


Danes were killed on the spot, with their principal commanders, who were 
Teitel, a person of great strength, and Governor of Waterford; Runan, 
Governor of Cork ; Muris, Governor of Limerick ; Bernard and Toroll. The 
remains of the Danish army retreated to Limerick, where the Irish soldiers 
pursued them, and entering the city with them, made a terrible slaughter. 
*' The victors pursued the flying enemy into the city of Limerick, and chased 
them through the streets, and into the houses, where they were slain without 
mercy or quarter. The plunder of the city was bestowed upon the soldiers 
by Mahon, where they found an immense booty of gold, jewels, furniture, 
and silver to an immense value. After they had rifled the houses they set 
them on fire, they burned the fortifications, demohshed the waUs, and per- 
fectly dismantled the city and made it incapable of defence.^'' ^ This was one 
of the greatest battles in the ancient annals of L'eland. 



We now come to a most important and eventful period of our history, in 
which one of the greatest of Ireland^s Kings and warriors makes his appear- 

In A.D. 969, says the Annahst, "The Foreigners of Limerick were driven 
from Inis-Sibtond,*5 (now the King^s Island), by the son of Ceinneidigh /^* he 
adds in a separate paragraph that in this year " two suns of equal size were 
seen at high noon.''' Undoubtedly this was one of those optical illusions or 
mirages, which science now clearly explains. Some years subsequently, 
according to the Four Masters, (Keating makes the event ten years earher), 
O'Brien, the son of Kennedy, King of Munster, besieged Limerick, which 
continued to be inhabited by the Danes ; his troops were victorious ; he set 
fire to the city. He also engaged the Danes of Inis-Cailthe, whom he de- 
feated with the loss of eight hundred killed, and Imohair (Humpiry), and 
Dubhgeann, their principal commanders, were taken prisoners. 3 In this 
latter year " an army, which was led by DomnhaU, son of Dubhdabhoireann, 
to Lunerick, the two sons of Brian, namely, Donchda and Fadgli, met them, 
and a battle was fought, wherein the people of the south of Ireland were 
defeated, and Domhnall fell and numbers along with him.''* The Danes, 
during a portion of this time, were reduced to the greatest extremities ; but 
at intervals they recruited their strength and retaliated severely on the Irish. 
There was no Prince in the Island who opposed their insults more than Brian 

"The Glories of Brian the Brave," must be ever heard throughout the 
island ^vith thrilling sensations of delight and satisfaction. This glorious 
monarch, whose wisdom and energy are famed in history, and whose career 

' Keating. ' Annals of Four Masters, Vol. 11. p. 695. ■'' Heating's History of Ireland. 
♦ Annals of Four Masters, Vol. II p. 5^J. 


is so closely identified not only with Limerick, but with the kingdom gene- 
rally, was of the Dalcassian race ; the succession of the kingship of Munster 
was alternate between the Eugenians and the Dalcassians, " but the former/' 
(says Eugene O'Curry in his manuscript notices of Irish History, p. 213) 
" being the most powerful in numbers and in extent of territory, monopohsed 
the provincial rule as far as they were able. The line of the Dalcassians 
were, however, always kings or chiefs of Thomond in succession, and kings 
of the province as often as they had strength to assert their alternate right, 
and it is a fact beyond dispute that the kindred of the late Marquis of Tho- 
mond (viz. the present Lord Inchiquin, his brothers and family) hold lands 
at the present day which have descended to them through an unbroken 
ancestry for 1600 years." Cormac Cass, the founder of the Dalcassian line, 
was King of Munster about A.D. 260 ; Aengus Tireach, about A.D. 290 ; 
ConnaU of the s^^dft steeds in 366 ; Carther in Fin in 439 ; Aedh Caemh, 
from 571 to his death in 601; Lorcain, in 910; Cenneidigh, or Kennedy, 
the father of Brian Boroimhe, in 954 ; and Brian himself from 975 to the 
year 1002, when he became monarch of aU Erinn, and as such reigned tiU 
his death, at the battle of Clontarf in 1014. He fought 49 battles against 
the Danes and their allies, and in every one of them was victorious. The 
deeds of this magnanimous hero can never be effaced from the memory of the 
Irish people. 

During the greater part of three centuries, namely, from the reign of 
Eonchada, or Donough, w^ho had hved for twenty-seven years in perfect tran- 
quillity, until their final expulsion by Brian Boroimhe, the Danes, who in 
Donough's reign had invaded Ireland, held their ground. Glancing back for 
a moment, we are shown the state of the island generally, of rehgion, of 
education, of arts, of arms, amid the troubles with which the invaders 
afflicted the island. It was three hundred and seventy years from the time of 
the introduction of Christianity by St. Patrick, to then* ill-omened arrival on 
our shores ; and three hundred years had elapsed before they were finally 
expelled by the victorious monarch of Ireland at Clontarf. Darkened though 
those ages were \\ith the disastrous influence of the invaders, some of the 
brightest names that adorn the pages of our history, flourished and shone out 
with a splendor which has lost none of its radiance in the lapse of centuries. 
Following St. Patrick was the learned Bishop of Sletty, the illustrious St. 
Eiach, who handed down in a poem of fire and beauty, the actions and praises 
of the great Apostle of our nation. Next we have the celebrated Cathill, or 
Cathald. Sedulius, too, the poet, the orator, the divine, who, educated from 
his infancy by Hildibert, the Archbishop, was accompHshed in all branches 
of hterature and science, and travelled through Italy and Prance for his 
further improvement. He visited the East, and returning through Rome, 
was distinguished for his wonderful erudition in the Eternal City. He was 
the author of many Latin books, in prose, a Paschal song in metre, consisting 
of four books, fourteen books on St. PauFs Epistle in prose, a Hymn on 
Christy's miracles, two books of the same in prose, and several others, of 
which the titles have been lost. His name is enshrined among the writers of 
Ireland ; and Ware does not forget to award him the honorable place which 
his merits won. Following in succession, came Saint CoUum-Kille, one of 
the leading spirits of the age in which he hved — the Apostle of the Picts, the 
founder of the world-renowed Abbey of lona, denominated also Huy-a-v- 
Columknie, of which monastery he was the first Abbot ; eminent in his life 
for every virtue, his eruflition is acknowledged all over the world. His 


monasteries for many years supplied the Churches of England^ and some of 
those in Ireland^ with Bishops. And while the lives of the saints and sages 
were brightening up, and dispelling the gloom which had so long hung over 
the destinies of our country, distant lands were enhghtened by the reflection 
of their hohness and learning, and Armagh, all the Avhile, gave its uninter- 
rupted successors to Saint Patrick in the Episcopacy, first in the person of 
Senanus, afterwards of St. Benignus, Jerlath, Cormac, &c. During these 
times it has been stated, an English Prince had been at Lismore, where he 
imbibed those principles of order and government which made his reign illus- 
trious, and, not\\athstanding the barbarous aggressions of the invaders, the 
Irish proved their progress in arts, arms and religion. 

Nearly at the same time that Malachy the Great was engaged in con- 
quering the Danes of Dublin and the Islands, Brian Boru was successfully 
engaged in reducing the Danes of Lunerick. He had avenged the murder 
by Ivor, King of the Limerick Danes, of hisbrother Mahon, eldest son of Ken- 
nedy, and on the defeat of Molloy, slain at the battle of Ballagh Leachta,' he 
succeeded to the throne of Munster. Though the Danes at this time were 
nominal Christians, they refused to preach to the Saxons in England, which 
discreditable circumstance occasioned the dispatch of missions from lona, 
the monastic settlement of St Columkille. The Danes were so hatefid to the 
Irish, and reciprocated the feeling so thoroughly, that they avoided all 
religious intercourse with the Irish Church, and connected themselves with 
the See of Canterbury in England.^ 

What Alfred, Edmond, and Athelstane had done less effectually for Eng- 
land, was now being performed for Ireland by Malachy and Brian; but it was 
not until the latter became monarch of all Ireland that those fierce north- 
erns, Avhose ravages made even Charlemagne weep, who took Eouen, besieged 
Paris, wrested Normandy from Charles the Bald, and founded a dynasty in 
England, were compelled, after terrible havoc, to vacate the country, or to 
settle down as tributaries, and to engage in the peaceful pursuits of com- 
merce.^ To detail the barbarous ravages, imposts, and even mutilations which 
these northern savages inflicted upon the people of Ireland up to the time of 
Turgesius and King Malachy is uimecessary. The general History of Ireland 
is full of them. The transfer of the sceptre of Ireland from Malachy the Great, 
the representative of Heremon, the elder son of Milesius, to the heroic Brian 
Boru, the descendant of the younger brother Herber, took place according to 
the Annals of the Four Masters in the 76th year of Brian^s age, his reign as 
Ard-righ or supreme monarch of Ireland, lasting twelve years, to his death at 
Clontarf, A.D. 1014. We are incHned, however to believe, that the Ulster 
Annals wliich give the birth of Brian sixteen years later, that is, in 941, is 
the more correct account of the two. 

' Annals of the Four Masters. 

* The character for merciless cruelty which the Danes, as these Scandinavians were called, 
established for themselves wherever they made their appearance, has de»cended in the oral a« 
well as in the written traditions of Ireland. It had no slight effect upon a few amongst the 
irregular troops at the battle of the Boyne, and notwithstanding the elements of civiliz.ition, 
amongst which Grose wrongly, we think, reckons the Gothic Church architecture, introduced bj' 
this highly spirited and enterprising race, as well as the practice of commerce and other arts, any 
attempt to popularize their name would be a signal failure. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, himself 
of Danish descent, has said much in their favour in his beautiful, though slightly prejudiced 
Romance of " Harold ;" but this is not history. 

3 Mr. Walker a member of the Royal Irish Academy, ha.- an Icel.Tndic manuscript dated in 
1010, which mentions Ilafer, a merchant, an Icelander, who had resided many yearn in Liuierick. 
— A'o/e fty Ralj'k Ousclet/, Enq., M.R.I.A., Limerick; 1703. 


This transfer took place at Athlone in 1003, where Brian, joined by the 
men of Leiuster and the Danes, defeated Southern Hy-Niall and the Cona- 
cians; and whether the original motive of Brian's opposition was selfish, as 
asserted by Tighemach,' who was almost a cotemporary writer, or the exi- 
gencies of the time, the consequences were the terminating of the frequent and 
fatal quarrels between the inferior princes and chiefs, and final subjugation^ of 
the Danes. On the abdication of Malachy, who still retained the title of 
King of Meath, and afterwards served under the supreme King, Brian 
became sovereign in chief, and having received the homage of Cahall O'Con- 
nor, King of Comiaught, and other Kings of that province, he set out for 
Ulster at the head of an army of twenty thousand men, 

Brian's progress to enforce the submission of the Northern Princes 
appears to have been unopposed until he reached the locahty known as 
Ballysadare, when the determined attitude of the enemy compelled him to 
retreat. But in his next expedition he was more successful. Accompanied 
on this occasion, as before, by the dynasts of Leath Mogah, he traversed 
Meath, and was honorably received at Armagh by Maelmurry, the Arch- 
bishop, and left a gold coUar weigliing twenty ounces, as an ofl'ering on the 
high altar of the Cathedral. Alter this munificent oblation, the value of 
which may be estimated as about £800, he proceeded to the royal seat of the 
Dalriadans in Antrim, called Rathmore-Muige-Line, where he received host- 
ages from the Princes of that territory as well as from the other chiefs of 

Brian made various expeditions of this character, and frequently brought 
away such chieftains as resisted him to his fortress at Kincora — amongst 
others, the Lord of Kinel Connel upon his refusing to give hun hostages, 
which Brian at last extorted by force from the Kinel Eoghaia, thus completing 
the subjugation of the illustrious house of the northern Hy-NiaUs. This 
event took place about six years after Brian's offering at Armagh which, 
occurred in 1004, on which occasion he signed a confirmation of the usual 
grant to the Clergy of Armagh, under the style of " Imperator Scotormn," 
an entry which is still extant in the Book of Armagh. 

After this victorious progress through Ulster, Brian proceeded to Tara, 
where he was solemnly croMTied. — He had now subjugated all his enemies, 
and had time to turn his thoughts to the improvement of his kingdom, to 
which he contributed in an extraordinary degree by the enactment of salutary 
laws, by the re-estabhshment of churches and educational estabhshments, 
and by the construction and repair of bridges, causeways and various pubhc 
works, restoiing to their old possessors the property taken from them by the 
Danes, raising fortresses and palaces, and putting an end to the existing 
confusion in genealogies by ordaining that aU the branches of the Irish races 
should in friture have surnames. 

Brian's authority as supreme King was now fuUy established, and after the 
peaceful interval, which he had employed to such good purpose, the 
advantage of even an enforced alhance between the several inferior Kings 
Avas shown by new projects on the part of his antagonists, the Danes. The 
deposed monarch Malachy having been defeated by Maolmordna, King of 
Leinster and his Danish alhes, had presented lumself at Kincora to solicit 
the assistance of Brian, but had been unsuccessful ; in the summer of the 
same year Brian found the movements of the Danes so menacing that he 

1 Annals of Tigernach. 


was compelled once more to take the field; and having devastated the 
territory of Ossory in his march, pitched his camp in the locahty at present 
known as Kilmainham. Having returned, however, to Kincora with his 
spoils, the Danes, encouraged by his absence, and recovering from the severe 
defeats which they had sustained from his son Morrogh, had summoned their 
allies from Scotland, from the Orkneys, from the Hebrides, from the Shetland 
Islands, from the Islands of the Baltic, and even from Denmark, Norway 
and other parts of Scandinavia, inviting the northern pirates to make a 
common effort for the complete subjugation of Ireland. The summons was 
obeyed with alacrity. 

On Palm Sunday, the 18th April, 1014, a powerful fleet, containing the 
contingents furnished from all parts of the world where the Danes resided, 
including some Norman, French, Belgians, and Britons from Wales and 
Cornwall, arrived in the bay of Dublin, under the command of Brodar, the 
Danish admiral. — The entire of these combined forces amounted to 12,000 
men, and their Irish allies, the Lagenians, numbered 9,000, in aU 21,000 
men — the Lagenians being funiished by the counties of Wexford, Carlow, 
Wicklow, and Kildare, with part of the Queen^s and King's County, the 
Princes of which were in aUiauce "with the Danes, and related by blood to Sitric, 
King of Dublin, whose mother, Gormlaith or Kormloda, the repudiated wife 
of Brian Boru, is said to have invited the noted pirates, Brodar and Upsoeus, 
or Upsacus, to join the confederacy against her royal consort. 

About 20,000 men composed the amount of Brian's army, of whom the 
Dalcassians or troops of Thomond collected from Clare, Limerick, and 
Tipperary, were commanded by himself in person, by his eldest son Murrogh, 
aided by his five other sons, Teige, Donagh, Donal, Conor, and Plan, and by 
Turlough, the son of Murrogh, and fifteen other nephcAvs and relatives of 
Brian. These constituted the first of the three lines into which Brian's 
army, as well as that of the Danes, was formed in this famous Battle. The 
second body composed of the Conacians (Connaught men) under King Teige 
O'Connor and other chiefs. The third was formed by Desmonians and 
Desians, under Kian and other chiefs of Desmond. Malachy, King of 
Meath, who did signal services in this battle, and who subsequently succeeded 
Brian, was appointed to assist the Dalcassians in the first division, while the 
Ultonians co-operated with the Desmonians in the third division, as did also 
Donald and the Scotch Stewards of Lennox, and Marr. The annals of 
InnisfaUen speak of one of the Maguires of Fermanagh being amongst the 
Ultonians ; but it does not appear from the Annals of the Poui* Masters or 
the Annals of Ulster that the north sent any forces. 

The left of Brian's army, which, lilce that of the Danes, was divided into 
three bodies, was commanded by Malachy, King of Meath, who, according 
to Keating,^ retired v/ith his troops in the beginning of the action, and 
refused to take part in it, to be avenged of Brian for his lost crown. This 
statement is accepted by M'Geoghegan and others ; but if it were time, it is 
not at aU likely that Malachy would have been universally recognised as the 
worthy successor of Brian, or rather the recoverer of his lost right. * 

1 Hist. 2, 250. 

2 O'Halloran, however, has likewise ascribed this act of treachery to Malachy, and he adds 
that it occurred at the very moment that the Dalgais with the whole right wing marched to 
attack, sword in hand, the Danes commanded by Brodar and Aisgiodal, whereupon Morrogh, 
with great presence of mind, cried out to his brave Dalgais " that this was the time to distinguish 
themselves, as they alone would have the unrivalled glory of cutting off that formidable body of 
the eaemy."— Hist. 244. Hist. 3, 2G3. 


In the meantime, the left, under the King of Connaught, attacked the 
Leinster Danes and their insular allies, while the troops of South Munster 
fell upon the Lagenians and their traitor King, Maolmordha. 

In the Annals of the Four Masters^ we find it distinctly stated, that 
Malachy drove the foreigners and the Leinster men " by dint of battling, by 
bravery and striking,^' fi-om the river Tolka (Zulcainn) to Dublin (Athclaih), 
and in all probabihty the Dalcassian writers have invented this slander 
against Malachy in order to elevate the character of his competitor, Brian, 
whose command of the army devolved upon Malachy after the death of the 
Monarch. Ware, Vallency and Lanigan have also fallen into what Moore 
calls " the general error^^ concerning Malachy's treason. 

Havuig made his arrangements for battle, Brian harangued his troops, 
reminding them that the foes with whom they had to contend were the 
perpetual oppressors and murderers of their kings, dynasts and clergy — had 
never shown any mercy to age or sex — had spoiled and burned their churches, 
and had trampled under foot the most sacred relics of their saints, calling 
upon his troops to take full revenge for their treacherous acts, and for their 
profanation of so many churches on that Friday in Holy Week (on which 
the battle was fought) upon which Christ had died for their redemption, who 
would undoubtedly be present with them, as a just avenger of his holy 
rehgion and laws. Here the annahst repeats the charge against Malachy, 
and describes the prodigies of valour as well as military skill exhibited by 
the heroic Brian, who, as appears from other accounts, had been induced to 
retire to his tent, where he was attacked while in the act of prayer by 
Broder, the Danish chief, and slain -with a blow of his battleaxe, but not 
until he had received a fatal sword thrust from the hand of the monarch. 

Then follows an account of the marvellous achievements of Morrough, 
Brien^'s eldest son, who though aged 63 years,^ slew several Danish 
officers of distiaction, cutting do\^Ti amongst the rest two standard bearers of 
the Danish army, as the Danish historians also record, and dispatched two 
others who had assailed him sunultaneously. The heroic Morrough, who had 
occasionally retired with some of the chiefs to drink and cool their hands at 
the river, which was at last stopped by the Danes, at last encountered Prince 
Anrud, of Norway, just at the time when Morrough was unable to employ 
his sword from the swollen state of his hands. He therefore grasped the 
Norwegian with his left hand, shook him out of his armour, cast him to the 
earth, and pierced him through with his sword. But the Norwegian even in 
d}ing was not unrevenged, for while Morrough stooped over him he snatched 
his knife or dagger and plunged it into his breast. The wound in a short 
time proved fatal, and Malachy assumed the command. 

The death of Brian took place about this period of the conflict, and the 
Irish were so exasperated by the death of theii* king, that a total route of their 
enemies resulted after the command was taken by Malachy, who again reigned 
eight years, four months and ten days, until the year 1022, when he died, 
aged 73 vears.' 

' An. 1013. 2 O'Flaherty, Ogygia, p. 435. 

* Ibid, p. 436. — The passage in the Dublin edition of the Annals of Ulster, which describes 
the Danisli loss at 13,000, and that of the Leinstermen at 3,000, is evidently erroneous, if not 
unauthentic. The Ulster Annalists, -who say nothing of O'Carroll, of O'Neil, or Maguire of Fer- 
managh assisting Brien in this battle, state that the loss of the Danes did not exceed 7,000. The 
Annals of Boyle agree with the Four Masters that besides the 1000 Danes in armour, 3000 others 
were killed, who, if added to the 3000 Leinster troops, would bear out the estimate of the Annals 
of Ulster. 


The body of young Tiirlogh O'Brien was found in the wators of Tolka with 
his hands entangled in the hair of a Dane. Of the other distinguished fami- 
Hes of Ireland ahnost every one lost a member. On the day after the battle 
the wounded were conveyed to the camp at Kihnainham, and on the next 
day the monks of St. Columba at Swords came to bear away the body of 
Brian in order to buiy it in the Cathedi-al of Armagh, where it was deposited 
at the north side of the Cathedral, and those of Murrough and his relatives at 
the South. For twelve successive nights, according to the Annals/ the clergy 
of St. Patrick kept watch over the dead, chaunted hymns and oflered up 
prayers for the souls of the heroes.^ 

It appears from an account' taken from the archives of Denmark by 
Torfgeus, historiographer to Christian V, that equally with the Irish, Danes 
were engaged at opposite sides in the battle of Clontarf. This historian 
describes Brian as " a Prince justly celebrated for clemency, lenity and many 
other virtues. ■'•' -, 

Among the inferior notabilia of the battle of Clontarf, which lasted one, 
not three days, as the Latin writers quoted by Lanigan has it, we may 
mention that tradition says that Brian sailed under the shadow of the towers 
and steeples of the monasteries and churches of the Holy Island (Innis 
Cailthra) on Lough Dergh, as he proceeded up the Lake from Kincora, and 
that in the Norse, Broder, the slayer of Brian, is stated to have called all 
present to witness that it was he who killed him.* 

1 Some, however, say that they were buried at Kilmainham, in the old church Icnown as 
" Bully's Acre," with the bodies of Thadeus O'Kelly, and other lords— while some assert they 
brought it to Cashel. Dr. O'Donovan remarks (Annals of the Four Masters, 1013, note b.) that 
Moore has adopted in his interesting account of this battle the falsifications made in the Dublin 
copy of the Annals of Innisfallen by Dr. O'Brien, who was assisted by John Conroy — such as 
the presence of Tadphy Tadhg O'Connor, son of the king of Connaught and of Maguire, in the 
battle at which it seems they were not present. The Annals of Clonraacnoise state that all the 
Leinster chiefs, except O'Moore and O'Nolan, took part with the Danes, and that the O'Neals for- 
sook King Brian in this battle, as did all Connaught (?) except Hugh, the sou of Ferral O'Rorke, 
and Teigue O'Kelly. 

* Annals of Ulster and Innisfallen, An. 1014. 
3 History of the Orkneys, 10 c. p. 33. 

* The appearance of the fort of Kiucora at this day indicates clearly that it was fortified, as 
its Danish name (Worsaee, quoting the Danish Sagas) Kincoraborg would also show. Keating, 
indeed, gives a pretty lengthened list of places of strength erected or improved by Brian, besides 
Kincora, within a few miles of which he repaired the round tower of Tomgranej', built a church 
at Inniskeltra, and erected another at Killaloe. Amongst other places we find Cahir, Cashel, 
Koscrea in Tipperary, and in the county of Limerick, Lough Gur, Bruree, Duntryleague and 




Although the battle of Clontarf may be said to have decisively crashed 
the power of the Danes, they still continued for some time to possess 
considerable wealth and influence in the principal cities and towns of Ireland, 
especially the seaports, where for the encouragement of commerce, to which 
they appear to have been as much addicted as to fighting and plundering, 
even Brian Boru had been willing they should remain. From their first 
invasion m A.D. 794 to the taking of DubHn by the Anglo-Norman 
invaders, and the death of Asculph Mac ThorkiU in A.D. 1171, about a 
century and a half after the battle of Clontarf, we find this vaUant and 
politic, but barbarously cruel and sacrilegious people engaged in contests with 
the natives for 377 years ; and not tiU after the invasion of the Noi-mans, 
a kindred people, as were indeed the Anglo-Saxons i also, shaU we lose sight 
of the Danes as a distinct community. At the present day we have many 
respectable families who are said to be of Danish blood, such as Harold, 
Godfrey, Stack, and Ti-ant, in Limerick and Kerry; and Plunket, Gould, 
Gilbert, Galway, Palmer, Sweetman, Dowdall, Everard, Drumgoole, Blacker, 
Betach, Cruise, Skiddy, Terry, Bevel, and some say Pagan, (of Peltrim), in 
other parts of Ireland. 

In Limerick in particular we find the Danes giving the following Bishops,^ 
the see bemg confined to the city as elsewhere, and these Bishops going for 
consecration to Canterbury, to whose Archbishops they promised canonical 
obedience, while the Irish Bishops were under Armagh, and were consecrated 
either in Ireland or in Ptome. The Danish Bishops of Limerick were GiUe 
or Gilbert, Apostohc Delegate of Ireland, Bishop from 1110 to 1140, 
a most remarkable and learned Prelate. Patrick Harold, who died in 1151 ; 
Torgesius, and Brictius, who attended the Council of Lateran in 1179. 
Of the hves of these Bishops, and of the part taken by them in the 
ecclesiastical affairs of the diocese and kingdom generally, as far as appears 
in the authorities accessible to us, we shall treat, when giving the lives of 
the Bishops of Limerick. In reference to the early Bishops of the See, v/q 
shall follow, for the most part, the learned Sir James "Ware. 

If Brian's eminent qualities and powerful resources had compelled an 
acquiescence in his claims to the chief monarchy while he lived, the legitimist 
claim met a prompt recognition after his decease. In conformity with the 
view taken of his usm-pation by some of the amiahsts, who call it " rebellion 
with treachery,'"' the Annals of InnisfaUen as well as those of Ulster count 
the years of Brian's reign amongst those of the deposed Prince who preceded 
and succeeded him. The example thus set by Brian, who, with the exception 
of Bcetan, was the only chief Monarch not chosen from the Hy-NiaU race 
for upwards of 500 years, was one cause of the troubles which we have now 
to record, and which owing partly to the laws of succession, are unfortunately 

' Sir F. Palgrave. » Ware's Bishop*, 


but too often met with in the events of Irish history. Even in the year 
1016_, when the unusual entry in the Annals of Ulster^ of " Sith in Erinid"' 
" Peace in Ireland/'' which like the shutting of the Temple of Janus in Eome 
w'as looked on as qnite a remarkable occurrence, even in this very year King 
Malachy, now once more supreme King, was obhged to enforce his supremacy 
by invading Ulster. Having obtained hostages he again defeated the Danes, 
subsequently the northern O^NeHls, assisted by the Eugenians or people of 
South Munster, and soon after accompanied by Donogh, son of Biian Boru, 
invaded Counaught, and forced its princes to give hostages.^ After defeating 
the Northerns at the Yellow Eord, now called Atliboy, he retired A.D. 1022, 
to a small island in Lake Annim, in Meath, where this excellent prince de- 
voted his last hours to works of penitence and devotion, providing amongst 
other deeds of mercy for the support of 300 orphan children.^ "VVe now 
return to the Princes of Thomond. 

The umiatural feud between Teigue and Donogh, the sons of Brian, is the 
principal event in the history of Limerick from the battle of Clontarf to the 
murder of the elder of these princes. This latter treacherous act which took 
place in 1023, is ascribed by the Pour Masters^ to the Edi, and is expressly 
said to have been perpetrated at the instigation of Donogh, who had recently 
sustained a defeat at the hands of liis brother in the pjart of Thomond on the 
eastern side of the Shannon. The pre\dous year 1022 had witnessed the 
death of the illustrious ]\Ialachy, successor of Brian in the monarchy, which 
may have probably suggested the idea of the fratricide as a means of remov- 
ing the principal obstacle between Donogh and the throne of Tara. 

The country of Thomond, wdiich extended from the Shannon to the Slieve 
Bloom mountains, had been subjected"* to two invasions before the assassina- 
tion of Teige ; on the first occasion by the Desmonians under Donald, the 
father of the Prince of Desmond, who had also been slain by Donogh, and 
who were defeated by the brave Dalcassians the year after the battle of 
Clontarf; on the second occasion by the army of Connaught, which 
plundered and destroyed both Kincora and KHlaloe. This was also doubtless 
occasioned by the ambition of the King of Connaught, encouraged by the 
unnatural quarrel which had so fatal a termination. Donogh prospered so 
much that he obtained hostages three years after his brother's death from 
various chiefs of Leinster; he exacteds the homage of the Danes of Dublin, 
was now recognized as monarch of Death Moglia or the southern half of 
Ireland, when he was defeated by the Ossorians and had a formidable 
antagonist to his claims in his nephew Turlough, the son of the assassinated 
Prince, Teigh, who was supported by Diarmid Maelnambo afterwards King 
of Leinster, at the instigation of Diarmid whose territory of Hy-Kinsella,* 
l^onogh had invaded, burning Perns and committing other devastations in 
Wexford. Several sacrilegious robberies were perpetrated at this time at 
Clonmacnoise, &c. It is to the credit of Donogh that he made satisfaction 
to the clergy of Clonmacnoise for a most revolting sacrilegious robbery, 
on which occasion the robbers stole a model of Solomon^s temple, probably 
a taberiiacli^, and a gold plated silver chahce, the former a gift of a Prince 
of wealth, the latter tastefully engraved by a sister of King Turlough 
O^Connor. In 1129, some of the Danes of Limerick were executed for 

' Ann;.ls of the Four Masters, and Innisfail. * Annals of Four Masters. 

* Pu. in. 1023. See also Tigeniut-h. < Annals of Four Masters, an. 1041. 

* 'ligeinuch and InLsfuil, an. 101;(j. * Annals uf Inuiifail and Four Masters. 


despoiling the monastery of Clonmacnoise. In the year 1050^ a Synod was 
held at Killaloe, to provide some remedies against a prevalent distress, 
occasioned by bad seasons, and to restrain crimes, under Donogh and Cele, 
" the head of the piety of Ireland/' as the annalists caU him, upon which 
occasion, as our authorities inform us they " enacted a law and restraint upon 
every injustice, great and small ; and God gave peace and favourable weather 
in consequence of this law." 

The power of Donogh now began to decline, for he had sustained two 
serious reverses. During his absence in Desmond, his enemy Diarmid had 
invaded Munster with an army of Lagenians and Danes, of whom he was 
now acknowledged king, and severely avenged Donogh' s, and Connor Melaghlin's 
raid into Fingal, on which occasion they had made many prisoners in the 
great stone church of Lusk. The second blow was inflicted on Donogh, in 
Thomond, where Torlough, the son of Teighe, maintained his ground against 
Donogh's son, Murrough, assisted by his Connaught allies, as he had been 
by Hugh O'Connor and by the king of Leinster in Middle Munster. In the 
latter the Lagenians and Danes burned one of the forts strengthened by 
Brian Boru — namely, Duntryleague ; and during another expedition, under 
Diarmid, which took place in 1056, they destroyed another of these forts — 
that at Lough Gurr, finishing their ravages by the destruction of Nenagh. 

Donogh's deposition was now a proximate event. — Diarmid invaded 
Munster, once more burned Limerick and Emly, and defeated Donogh in a 
severe battle in the glen of Aherlow. Hugh O'Connor destroyed Kiucora, 
with the town and Church of KiUaloe ; and Turlogh and the Lagenians once 
more burned Limerick in the year 1063, and exacted hostages throughout 
Munster. At last being utterly defeated by Turlogh and the King of Leinster, 
at the foot of the Ardagh mountains, he abdicated the crown of Munster, 
thus transferring his royal honors to his nephew. In the hope of atoning 
for his sins he afterwards set out on a pilgrimage to Eome, where he died 
with every appearance of sincere penitence, in the Monastery of St. Stephen, 
in the year 1064. Some writers assert that Donogh not only left the croAvn 
and regaha of Ireland with the Pope but made him over his kingdom, an 
empty compliment, if it took place at aU, which is not probable, as it is not 
mentioned by any of the old annahsts. It is added by those who tell this 
story, that the crown was afterwards given to Henry the II. by Pope Adiian 
the Fourth after the Norman conquest.'^ 

' Annals of Four Masters. 

* Donogh was connected with the Royal family of England, having married Driella, sister of 
Harold, afterwards King of England. Harold took refuge in Ireland (Saxon Chronicle, an. 1051) 
during the rebellion of his father against Edward the Confessor, and was furnished by Donogh 
with a squadron of nine ships, with which he harassed the coast of England. In the time of 
Donogh the celebration of Athletic games was encouraged, and more taxes were raised and 
more ordinances made than during the period which had elapsed since the coming of St. Patrick. 
— Annals of hmhfail, an. 1023 {recte 1040). 

Two interesting relics supposed to belong to Brian Boru are still in existence — namely, his 
harp and his sceptre. The latter was presented to the museum of the Royal Dublin Society, 
where it is preserved, by the Dowager Marchioness of Thomond, after the death of her husband 
in 1857. The harp, according to the statement given in the fourth volume of the " Collectanea 
de Rebus Hibernicis," remained, with the crown and other regalia of Brian Boru, in the Vatican, 
until the reign of Henry VIII., when that " Defender of the Faith" received the harp with his 
new title. The Pope, it is said, kept the crown, which was of massive gold, Henry gave the 
harp to the first Earl of Clanrickarde, and it was presented bj' a lady of the De Burgh family 
to that of M'Mahon, of Clenagh, in the county Clare. In 1782 it was presented to the Right 
Hon. Mr. Connyngham, who presented it to Trinity College, where it still remains. Moore thinks 
the harp is modern, because it bears the O'Brien arms (in silver) ; but on this principle we might 
doubt the antiquity of the round tower on Derenish Island because it bears a modern iuscriptjoa. 


Since tlie death of Malachy, who was hunself formally recognised by the 
states of Meath only, though tacitly accepted by the nation, the ascription 
of the title of supreme king by our native historians appears to have resulted 
rather from deference to might than to right — at least the most powerful for 
the time being of the Royal races of Ireland were recognised as the nominal 
monarchs, or as the Irish express it, Righ go Freasabhra, "kings with oppo- 
sition/' As the plan which we have laid do-wm for ourselves will not allow 
of our introducing more of the general history of Ireland than may serve to 
illustrate that of Limerick, we can refer but briefly to the exploits of Dermot, 
King of Leinster, who is by some historians reckoned as nominal monarch 
after tlie death of Donogh, whom he obhged to abdicate the crown, in favor 
of Turlogh, the sou of Teige, and grandson of Brian Born. There is a 
great simUarity indeed in the military history of all the enterprising kings of 
this pei-iod, and Dermot's included the crushing of a rebellion raised by 
Murchad, the son of Donogh ; the compellmg of the king of Connaught to 
give hostages ; the exacting tribute from the people of Meath and Dubhn; 
and if we" can believe the continuation -of the Annals of Tigernach, the 
subjection of the Welsh and Hebrides, or at least to the extent imphed by 
the fact that they were obliged to pay him tribute. At last this vigorous 
monarch attain entered Meath hi 107^,' and was defeated with great slaughter 
at the battle of Odhba, being himself killed, and leavmg Turlogh, by his 
death, the most powerful king in Ireland. 

T\irlogh now entered upon the usual course of one determined to be recog- 
nised as'the Sovereign-in-Chief, no competitors of his own family existmg 
since A.D. 1068, the year of the death of Morrogh " of the short shield," 
who was slain durmg a foray into Teffia, a territory now fonning a part of 
Westmeath and Longford ; while the King of Connaught, Aedh of the Broken 
Spear, who had defeated Dermot, Turlough, and their " great army of Leath- 
moi^ha," as the annaKsts call it, some five years before, had himself fallen in 
turn, in battle with Art O'Rourke, Prince of Breffiuy, who had invaded his 
territories. Connor, too, the son of Malachy, had fallen in the year 1073, 
by the hand of an assassin, and Turlogh, now admitted to be the most potent 
of the native Kings, prepared himseK for an expedition into Ulster, where the 
indomitable 0''NeiIls maintained their independence. 

The Annals of the Four Masters for this year^ record a curious anecdote 
of Turloue-h in reference of his having carried off the head of the murdered 
King of Meath from the Abbey of Clonmacnoise on a Good Frida,y, unmedi- 
ately before his Northern expedition. — " It was brought back again from the 
South with two rings of gold along with it through the miracles of God and 
Kiaran. A great disease seized the King Turlough O'Brien, which caused 
his hair and beard to fall off through the miracles of God and Kiaran, for 
when the head of Connor was brought into his presence, a mouse issued out 
of it and went under his garment, which was the cause of his disease."' The 
Annals of Clonmacnoise^ mention the same curious story, and state that 
Brien "was like to die until he restored the said head with certain gold." 

It was during an expedition undertaken into Meath, immediately after this, 
to punish Morrough Melaghhn, the brother and murderer of Connor, that he 
carri('d off the head of one' of the bitterest of his enemies, as related above. 

' Anrii'.ls of Four Masters, of Inn'sfail. and TigernacL. 

» A. D. 107H. 

3 A. D. 1070 (reete 1073). 


In 1075 Tiu'logh marched into Connaught, and received homage and 
hostages from O^'Rourke^ O'Eeilly, O'Kellv, MacDermod, and other Princes. 
In the follo'wing year, accompanied by the army of Munster, Turlogh 
marched into Meath, and received the submission of King Melachlin, the 
latter being accompanied by the Bishop of Armagh, styled by the Annalists 
the Successor of Saint Patrick, who brought with him the Bachal Isa, or 
" Staff of Jesus/^ In this year, according to the Four Masters, Dunlevy 
O^Heoghy and the chiefs of Ulidia went into Munster to serve for pay. 

In 1084, the chief of the Ulidians, having engaged the services of Donogh, 
the son of O^Ruarc, nicknamed " the Cock,^'' who commanded the forces of 
East Connaught>, marched mto Leinster and encamped at Monecronogh^ AA^here 
he was encountered by Murtagh O^Brien, son of Turlogh, at the head of the 
troops of Leinster, Ossory, Mmister, and the Danes of Dublin. Four thousand 
persons were left dead on the field in this action, which appears to have been 
a drawn battle. O^Rnarc was amongst the slain, and his head having been 
brought to Limerick, it was exposed on Singland, near the city, probably in 
the locaHty now occupied by the Water Works, near Gallows Green. 
■ Wliile Turlogh^s army was engaged in Leinster, the Ulstermen entered 
Thomond, and burned Killaloe, Tomgraney, Scariff, and Moynoe, of which 
O^Halloran says in his usual patriotic style, " then flourishing cities on the 
banks of the Shamion, now scarce retaining the traces of villages .■'■' But 
Turlogh had his revenge, for in the next year (1085) he once more invaded 
the north, ravaged the territory, and took IMuireadhach, Prince of Muinter- 
colies (the tribe name of the Magranalls or Re}Tiolds) in the southern half of 
the coimty Leitrim, 

This was the last expedition of this vigorous monarch, who died in 1086, 
at Kincora, in the 77th year of his age, from the eff'ects of a disease resulting 
from the incident which we have quoted from the Annals of the Four Masters, 
and Clonmacnoise. His forgiveness of his nephew, Murched, who raised a 
formidable rebellion m Thomond, in the second year of his reign, and to 
whom, though he renewed his revolt after being forgiven, he assigned ample 
possessions in Cuonogh and Aharla, in the county Limerick, prove him to 
have been a man of a generous and forgiving disposition. As a proof of the 
high character he enjoyed amongst his contemporaries, we may refer to this 
letter^ addressed to him by the illustrious Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, as " The magnificent Turlough, King of Ireland,^'' in which, he says, 
that " God was mercifully disposed towards the people of Ireland, in giving 
him royal power over that land, and stating that though he has never seen 
him, he loves him from the description he had received of his pious humility, 
his severe justice, and his discreet equity.-'^ As additional proofs not only of 
the high estimation in which Turlough was held, but of his being recognised 
as monarch of Ireland by his contemporaries, v,t may mention that another 
letter was addressed to him some years after by Gregory VII., in which he 
is called '' the illustrious King of Ireland ;" and, at the recjuest of the chiefs 
of Man, Turlough sent a prince of the blood royal to be regent during the 
minority of their youthful king. 

In Lanfranc^s letter to Turlogh he complains that in his kingdom marriages 
were often irregularly contracted ; that bishops were consecrated by one 
bishop ; that infants ■\^'ere baptised without consecrated chrism ; and that holy 

' Usher Vet. Epiat. Tlibern. Syll. 
* Chronicle of Man, A.D. 1075. 


orders were given by bishops for money. As Lanfranc makes the same 
complaint about irregular marriages in his letter to Gothric, Kin g of Dublin^ 
Dr. Lanigan^ supposes these abuses were confined chiefly to the Danes ; 
while as to the second and third objections, Lanfranc was mistaken as to what 
is required by evangehcal and apostolical authority and the canon law. 
Besides, the Irish still retained the order of chorepiscopoi. The charge of 
simony, Lanigan thinks, may have been partly true ; but that crime was not 
confined to the Irish, nor to the church of any particular time or locality. 



King Tiirlough was succeeded by his second son, Murtagh O^Brien, not 
undeservedly surnamed More, or the Great, as king of Thomond, and nominal 
king of Ireland, A.D. 1106. Of his two brothers, the eldest had died at 
Kincora, and the other, Dermott, having been banished into Connaught, 
Murtagh became the sole, but by no means the undisputed sovereign. The 
provincial kings joined Dermot, who was subsequently slain in Meath in his 
brother^s army, A.D. 1103, in a coalition against the king of Thomond, as 
pretender to the chief sovereignty of Ireland ; and another formidable oppo- 
nent appeared in the person of Domnal M'Loughlin, chief of the Hy-Niells, 
who, having enforced homage from the king of Connaught, united that 
prince's forces to his own, and with the combined army invaded Munster. 
E-ory O'Connor's West Connaught men had defeated Murtagh's fleet, when 
attempting to dislodge them from their position on Innishayrcuch (Homed 
Island) in the Shannon, previously to the junction of the Northern forces 
with those of Connaught, and Murtagh now found himself unable to retahate 
with effect until the most terrible devastations had taken place in his 
dominions. The invaders burned Limerick, devastated the country as -far as 
Emly, Lough Gur, and Bruree, beseiged and demohshed Kincora, and carried 
off the head of O'Ruarc from the place of its exposure at Siugland.^ Mur- 
tagh, determined to strilce the first blow at the king of Connaught, dispatched 
a fleet in the following year, 1089, as far as Loughree, on the Shannon, and 
greatly to his discredit plundered the churches^ on the various islands, and 
along the shores of the lake, including those of Innisclothran, Innisboffin, and 
Innis-aingin. The Dalcassian troops were, however, intercepted in their 
retreat by the king of Connaught, who had occupied Inishapcuch and 
Kughra ; and being obliged to turn back to Athlone were encountered by 
Donald O'Melaghhn,* king of Meath, who gave them a safe conduct to 
Thomond, on condition of lea\dng behind their vessels. With these vessels 
the kings of Meath and Connaught immediately afterwards descended the 
Shannon, and once more invaded Thomond. 

' Ecclesiastical Hist, of Ireland, chap. xsiv. 

^ Four Masters, ad. an. 1088. 

" Ibid. ad. an. 1089. 

* This nnme appears in a variety of spellings. 


In the year 1090 a congress was held on the banks of Lough Neagh^ where 
the two princes, Murtagh and MacLoughlin (or O^'Loughlin), agreed to divide 
the kingdom of Ireland between them, the former ruling Leath Mogha, or 
the southern half, and the latter Leith Cuin, or the northern moiety. On 
this occasion they pledged themselves by the most solemn oaths, " upon the 
relics of the saints of Erin, and the crozier of St. Patrick." At this meeting 
the kings of Connaught and of Meath were also present, and gave, as did 
also Murtagh, hostages to the head of the Hy-Niels ; but if this was an 
admission of his claims to the chief sovereignty, it was cancelled by a similar 
tender of hostages to Murtagh by the new chief monarch, M'Loughlin, who, 
not-withstanding this solemn convention, was engaged in hostilities Vvith the 
king of Thomond in this very year,^ and obliged to do him homage. In 
1094 Murtagh again invaded Leinster and Meath, defeated OT'onnor Faly; 
attacked the Meathians, and having slain Donald O'Melaghliu, king of Tara, 
divided his territories between his two brothers. 

According to Sir James Ware, a present of Irish pearls was made in the 
year 1094, by the bishop of Limerick, to Ansehn, archbishop of Canterbury, 
by whom the present was graciously received. 

In the years 1095 and 1096 peace prevailed in consequence of a pestilence 
which the annalists say spread over all Europe, and carried off a fourth of 
the population of Ireland, including many persons of distinction, and amongst 
the rest Godfrey Erenach. In the meantime Murtagh had employed himself 
in rebuilding Kincora, and, having completed the work of re- edification, once 
more undertook an expedition as far as Louth, where, however, by the inter- 
position of the bishop of Armagh, the effusion of blood was prevented. 

In the year 1101 Murtagh convoked a great assembly at Cashel, and made 
a donation to the church, such as " no king had ever made before,''^ granting 
Cashel to the " rehgious of Ireland in general without any claim of layman 
or clergyman upon it,'' as the annalists express it, thus dedicating the seat 
of the Munster kings to God and to St. Patrick,^ who had there preached 
the Gospel to ^ngus, king of ]\Iunster and his court. 

It was about the time of this splendid donation to the church that IMurtagh 
made his famous expedition into Ulster, and, having led a large body of 
troops into Innis-owen, devastated the peninsula, destroyed the churches, 
and, in revenge for the destruction of Kincora, utterly demolished the ven- 
erable palace of the Hy-niells, called Adeach or the Eagle's Nest, ordering 
his soldiers to carry away the very stones to Limerick in their provision bags.* 

In the year 1103 Murtagh sustained a decisive defeat from Macloghlin, on 

' Annals Innisfail, an. 1074 (recte 1090). 

» Four Masters, 1090. 

' Annals of Innisfallen, 1101. 

* ]\Ir. O'Curry adds that " with these stones [which the soldiers brought in their sacks] Mur- 
tagh O'Brien afterwards built a parapet upon the top of his royal palace, (which is situute on the 
site of the present Cathedral of Limerick) as a perpetual memorial of his victory over the ancient 
enemies of his house." Mr. O'Curry adds, " I may mention that this was not a wanton deed of 
destruction on the part of O'Brien, but a retaliation for a similar insult which the Northern 
bands, two hundred years before that, offered to the Dalcassians, when tbey made a sudden and 
unexpected rush into that country, and cut down, and carried away by force, from the celebrated 
woods of Creatalach (Cratloe, I believe) as much prime oak as roofed and adorned the same palace 
of Aileach."' The Grainan of Aileach is situate in the county of Donegal, about a milo from tha 
county of Derry, and on the top of a mountain 802 feet high, to which it has given its name of 
Grainan. The Ordnance Survey of Londonderry (page 217) gives a graphic description and 
account of this very curious and celebrated ancient construction ; and we refer the reader to that 
extremely interesting volume for the fullest particulars on the subject. 

24 HlStORY OF LlMERlC^. 

tlic plains of CoBha iu Tyrone,' on wliicli occasion the royal tent and marly 
Valuable jewels were captured.''^ The following years are chiefly occupied with 
resultless campaigns between Murtagh and Macloughlin, and the interposition 
of the clergy in bringing about temporary pacifications. In 1114, say the 
amials/ " a great fit of sickness attacked Murtagh O'Brien, so that he became 
a living skeleton, and resigned his kingdom; and Diarmuid (his brother) 
assumed the kingdom of Munster after him without pennission/^ During 
Murtagh^s absence in Leinster, Thomond was invaded by Torlogh O'Connor, 
king of Connaught, who plundered the country as far as Limerick, and carried 
off spoil and prisoners. On this occasion Donald O'Brien, son of Teige, was 
slain while defending his country against the invaders. In the second year after 
also, 1116, Torlogh O'Connor again invaded Thomond, and advancing Avithout 
resistance, demolished Kincora as well as the fort of Boromha, which had 
been erected by Brian Boru — an insult which the Dalcassians vainly attempted 
to avenge under Dermod, brother of Murtagh O'Brien, who led an army into 
Connaught, but was repulsed and obliged to make a precipitate retreat. In 
1117, Thomond was again invaded by the forces of Connaught, commanded 
by Brian, son of Morrogh O'Elaherty, and the son of Cathal O'Connor, who 
defeated the Munster troops first at Leacan in West Thomond, and afterwards 
at Latteragh in Ormond, with still greater loss. The death of Dermod 
O'Brien was followed in a year by that of his brother Murtagh. Tliis event 
took place in 1119, and this eminent prince, whose character ranked so high 
in his lifetime that he was often consulted by the king of England, Henry I., 
was buried in the cathedral of Killaloe, which, from the time of the donation 
of Cashel to the Church, to the period of the Anglo-Norman invasion, 
became the residence of the descendants of the illustrious Brian Boru. 

Murtagh had three sons, Domhnal, appointed Governor of DubHn, who 
embraced a monastic life in 1118 ; Mahon, the ancestor of the Mac Mahons 
of Corkabaskin, and Kennedy, of whom there is no further notice. Murtagh 
O'Brien, as Malmsbury, a contemporary author, informs us,"* made aUiances 
with other foreign princes besides Henry I. of England. He gave one of his 
daughters to Arnulph de Montgomery, eldest son of the Earl of Arimdel in 
England, whom he is said to have assisted in his rebellion against Henry I. ; 
and another to Sicard, son of Magnus king of Norway. Keating states his 
belief that Murtagh died at Armagh. He was the last supreme monarch of 
liis race. 

' Annals of Fonr Masters. 

' About this time took place the celebrated Synod of Uisneacli, in AVestmeatli, presided over — 
toccoi-ding to the Abbe M'Geoghegan, by Gilbert, Bishop of Limerick, under circumstances here- 
after to be referred to. 

3 Annals of Four Masters. 

* Malmsbury Pe Reg. Angle, lib. v. 




Sir James Ware and OTlaherty^ are of opinion that parties were so evenly 
balanced after the death of Murtagh O^Brien^ that for seventeen years after 
that event no dynast was sufficiently powerful to assume the title of monarch 
of Ireland. But after the death of Donald Mac Loughlin^ who reigned 
without competition during the two years that he survived Murtagh^ Tuilogh 
O^Connor, son of Eoderick^ king of Connaught^ is considered to have the 
fairest claim; and is accordingly set down by most historians as the next 
monarch of Ireland. Some_, however, only assign to Turlogh the rank of 
king of Leath-Cuin, while Connor O^Brien is regarded as possessing an 
equitable claim to be considered monarch of Leath-Mogha. 

Turlogh, although a brave prince, did not disdain to avail himself of the 
arts of poHcy to strengthen his own interest to the prejudice of O^Brien. 
He sowed dissensions between the Eugenians and Dalcassians, touching their 
claims to alternate succession^ to the throne^ and succeeded in creating tem- 
porary divisions amongst the Dalcassians themselves. In the year 1124, 
O^'Connor constructed a fleet on Lough Derg, conveyed them across the falls 
of the Shannon, at Doonas, plundered the country of the Hy-Conaill, at 
Foynes' Island, and captured the fleet of Desmond. — Cormac Macarthy, the 
king of Desmond, was shortly after defeated by O^Connor, near Kilkenny, 
and obliged to seek an asylum in the monastery of Lismore. But O^Brien, 
having effected a reconciliation between the members of his own family, by 
giving Torlogh, Thomond, west of the Shannon; and the other brother, 
Ormond, proceeded in the same year, 1127, to Lismore, and, with the con- 
sent of the Eugenian chiefs, restored Cormac, dethroned his brother Donough, 
set up by CConnor, and forced him to fly with his adherents into Con- 
naught. In the year 1135, Cormac invaded Thomond, and was opposed by 
an ancestor of the Macnamaras,^ Cumara, i.e. the " Dog of the Sea,^^ who 
was slain in the battle, — Cormac was defeated at Clonkeen-Modinog, near 
Cashel, on which occasion several of the princes of the Eugenians, together 
with O^Loghlm, king of Burren, were left dead on the field. The next year, 
1136, is given as the date of TurlogVs recognition as supreme sovereign, 
although O^Brien had just given decided proofs of undiminished vigor, by 
routing the united armies of the king of Leinster and the Danes of DubHn, 
after which he had led his victorious troops into Connaught, when an arrange- 
ment was entered into between CBrien and O'Connor, by the interposition, 
or under the sanction of the archbishop of Tuam."* 

In the war between Connor O'Brien and Macarthy, O'Brien was supported 
by Dermot Macmorrough, king of Leinster, v/ho obtained an unfortunate 
notoriety by bringing the English into Ireland. This happened in 1137; 
and the new alhes, assisted by a fleet of the Danes of DubUn and Wexford, 
having besieged Waterford, Donogh Macarthy was compelled to submit, and 
to give hostages of the Desies and the Danes of DubKn, as a return for their 
services. Connor, now styled Lord of Thomond and Ormond, gave hostages 
to the king of Leinster, for defending Desmond for him from the Macarthies ; 
and thus it appears that Turlough's claim to the monarchy was now admitted, 

' Ogrgia. i Annals of Innisfail, Munster Annals Apud Valiancy. 

• Annals of Four Masters, * Ibid. Ad. An. 1133. 


even by O^Brien himself, though so fiercely appropriated by the O^Briens for 
more than a hundred years. In the next year, 1138, the Annals of the Four 
Masters' mention the treacherous assassination at Cashel, of Cormac, the king 
and bishop, the founder^ of the beautiful church still called Cormac's Chapel, 
the murderer being Turlogh, son of Dermod O^Brien, who afterwards suc- 
ceeded to the crown of Thomond. Thus the Mac Carthies were expelled, 
and Connor O^Brien was now left in sole possession of the crown of Munster, 
io wliich he added that of the Danes of Dublin, against whom he marched 
an army in 1142, and forced their submission. In the next year Connor 
O^Brien died at KiUaloe, where he was interred in the Cathedi-al, and was 
succeeded by his next brother Turlogh. Connor died possessed of all the 
rights and powers annexed to the sovereignty of Leath Mogha. He was a 
prince of great courage, perseverance, and abihty ; and though he had com- 
mitted in his various expeditions several acts of spoliation on the Church, 
he is stated in the records of the Abbey of St. Peter at Eatisbon, to have 
founded and supported it while he Hved, and to have sent munificent presents 
in aid of the Crusaders to Lothaire, the Eoman Emperor.^ — Connor was 
surnamed na Catheragh, or " of the cities,''^ on account of the many he 
founded and improved, says O^Halloran, which also accounts for his other 
nickname of " spattered robe'''' — according to others from his having built or 
strengthened a fort on Lough Eee. 

Torlough, the brother and successor of Connor O^Brien, whose son Mur- 
tagh was obliged to content himself 'vvith Thomond, began his reigTi by a 
war with Turlough O^Connor and an invasion of Leinster. He was set upon 
the throne of Lunerick by Murtagh M'Niell of the line of Heremon, who 
succeeded to the monarchy of Ireland. In punishment of O'Connor's raid 
into Munster, in sustainment of the claims of Connor, grandson of Murtagh- 
]\Iore O'Brien, Turlough O'Brien marched into Connaught, and cut down the 
Ruaidh Rheithigh* (the red birch tree of Hy-Fiachra Aadhne, under which 
the kings were inaugurated), and demolished its stone fort, but returned 
without effecting any important results^ and in 1144 was reconciled to 
O'Connor at Terryglass, in Ormond — though, as we learn from the Four 
Masters,^ the truce only lasted a year, the next year having been signalised 
by so many predatory excursions that Ireland was made " a trembling sod,'' 
to use the expressive language of these annalists. Turlough founded a mon- 
astery for the Cistercian monks in 1148, the great monastery of Nenay, or 
Commogue, in the county of Limerick, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. 

In the year 1149, the King of Munster once more led an army into Con- 
naught, destroying the Dun or Castle of Galway. In the next year he 
marched to Dublin, plundering Slane, in Meath, on his way, and exacted 
hostages from the Danes of Dublin. In the following year (1151), while 
absent in West Munster, opposmg the Macarthies, he was deposed by his 
brother, Teige Gle, whom he had released from prison, assisted by the king 

• Ibid. Ad. An. 1138. « Ibid. Ad. An. 1134. 

' " In the Chronicles of Eeinsburgh or Ratisbon, in Germany, it is related that Dyonisius, 
Christianus and Gregory, three successive Irish Abbots, of the Benedictine Monastery of St. 
James's at the west gate of Ratisbon, sent their own Irish niessongers at three several times into 
Ireland with the Emperor Conradus's letters recommending them. To these messengers was 
delivered so great a sum by the aforesaid Conor O'Briau, otherwise Calla Slapper Sallach, King 
of North Munster, or Limerick, that thereby their cloister was from the very foundation, in a 
short time, rebuilt so magnificently that it surpassed all in those daj-s; and besides, with said 
money, the monks purchased for their maintenance, both witliin the town of Ratisbon, and in 
the country, a perpetual revenue and estate, and notwithstanding all, a great fiuantity of said 
money was still remaining. — Peter Walsh. 

* Annals of Four Masters, 1 143. ^ Jbid, 1145. 


of Connaught, who, invited by Teige Gle, and joined by Dermot Macmorrogh, 
advanced into Munster, and ravaged the country, until they reached Moin- 
more, or the Great Bog, which, according to Dr. O^Donovan,i ig Moniinore, 
in the parish of Emly, Barony of ClamviUiam, and county Tipperary. In 
this fiercely contested battle, the armies of Leinster and Connaught, led by 
Roderick, whose troops had once more destroyed Kuicora, during their late 
invasion of Munster, were opposed by O^Brien, accompanied by the Dalcas- 
sians alone; and, notwithstanding the desperate valour of these noble 
warriors, were completely successful. The army of Munster was totally 
defeated, and the king of Thomond, with liis army, left dead on the field.^ 

Altogether there fell of the Mononians five thousand men. The loss on 
the other side was severe, but not at all to be compared with that of the army 
of Munster, which the monarch now divided into two principalities, appointing 
the two treacherous Munster princes its rulers. Roderick, the last monarch 
of Ireland of Milesian descent, now entered Thomond, and having proceeded 
as far as Croom, which he burned, returned after the capture of great spoils. 

The unfortunate Turlogh O^Brien having ineS'ectually attempted to pro- 
cure shelter among the Danes of Limerick, fled to Ulster, where he was shel- 
tered by the native chieftains, to whom he was able to make ample recompense 
for their hospitahty, having carried with him many jewels and valuables to 
the number of sixty, besides the drinlving horn of Brian Boru, and one hun- 
dred and twenty ounces of gold.^ In the arrangement which followed the 
defeat of Turlogh, Desmond fell to Dermod M'^Carthy, and Thomond to 
Teige O^Brien. The fortunes of Turlogh CConnor had scarcely obtained 
the ascendant over those of O^Brien when a new rival appeared in the person 
of Murtagh 0''Loughlin (MacLoughlin or O^Nedl), representative of the 
royal Hy-Niells of T}Tone, and the host and champion of the king of Mun- 
ster, in Avhose favour he formed a league of the Ulster princes, and having 
conquered Turlogh O^Connor, replaced Tui-logh CBrien on his throne, or as 
the Four ]\Iasters say, to one-half of his kingdom. On the return of Teige 
O^Brien into Thomond he was barbarously deprived of his sight by his bro- 
ther Dermod Finn, and died the next year, 1154. Turlogh O'Brien having 
made submission three years after his restoration, Roderick, his father, in- 
curred the resentment of O'Neill, who, accompanied by Dermod MacMur- 
rough and his troops, entered Desmond, and exacted the submission of the 
Macarthies. He next laid siege to Limerick, then chiefly inhabited by Danes, 
drove out Turlogh O'Brien, expelled the Dalcassians from Thomond, and di- 
vided Munster between Dermod Macarthy, whose father had been murdered, 
as before mentioned, at Cashel, and Connor, the son of Donald O'Brien, in 
whose person, as the senior representatives of Murtagh-More O'Brien, the 

' Note to Four Masters, 1151. 

* Amongst the families still extant, who lost some of their members in this second Clontarf, 
the Annals of the Four Masters give the following from the book of Lecan: — "The following 

were the chieftains that were here slain : Muicertagh, son of Conchovar O'Brien, the second 

best man of Dalgais ; Lughaidh, son of Donald O'Brien, two of the Hy-Kennedigh (O'Kennedys); 
eight of the H\'-Deaghaidh (O'Deas), with Flahertach O'Dea ; nine of the Hy-Seanchain 
(O'Shannons or Sextons) ; five of the Hy-Cuinn (O'Quins) ; five of the Hy-Grada (O'Gradys), 
with Aneslis O'Grada ; twenty-four of the Ui-Aichir (O'Hehirs) ; the grandson of Eochaidh 
Ua-Loingsy (O'Lynchy or O'Lynch) ; four of the Ui-Neill Buidhe (Yellow O'Neills) ; and five 
of the Ui-Eachthiern (Ahearnes or O'Hearns) ; with numbers of good men besides them. 

' This was a changeable, wind}', stormj' winter, with great rain. Foirdhealbhach Ua Briaia 
went to Luimneach, but he did not get shelter in Munster ; and he took many jewels with him, 
i.e. ten score ounces of gold, and sixty beautiful jewels, besides the drinking horn of Brian 
Boroimhe, and he divided them among the chiefs of Silmuiredagh, &c. &c. (the O'Connors of Con- 
naught and other chiefs, the O'Rourkes .ind the O'Farrells.) — Annals of the Four Masleis, 1151. 


right line of succession was restored. But Turlough O^Brien being once 
more restored by Roderick O^Connor;^ wbo entered IMunster after O^'Neill^s 
departure for the North, cruelly put out the eyes of the la-w^ul king Connor 
O^Brien, as well as those of his son — acts of barbarous policy to disqualify 
them for the throne^ the fruits of which he did not long enjoy, being deposed 
by his son Murtagh and banished into Leinster. This occurred in 1165, but 
Murtagh was not recognised as king until 1167, in which year his father, 
Turlough O'Brien, died. He was slain, however, in the next year by 
Connor O'Brien, grandson of Connor Na Cateragh, but after a short interval, 
the assassin and his accomphces were themselves put to death by Dermod 
Fioun, the brother of his grandfather, aided by OTaolain, prince of the Desies. 
In the reign of Torlogh O'Brien several interesting events occurred in the 
history of the Church, amongst others the great Synod or National Council 
of Kells, at which Cardinal Paparo, Legate of Pope Eugenius III, presided, 
and distributed the palhums brought by him fi-om Rome to the four Arch- 
bishops of Armagh, Cashel, Dublin and Tuam — a concession promised by 
Innocent II. to St. Malachy, Bishop of Down, who, with a view to obtain 
this favor, had himself journeyed to Rome in the year 1139. St. Malachy 
again visited the Continent in the Pontificate of Eugenius III, and ched in 
the Abbey of Clairvaux, then presided over by Saint Bernard, who wrote his 
biography, and made those strictures on the state of the Irish Church, the 
severity of which is partly to be ascribed to the austerity of St. Bernard's 
character, partly to the want of exact information. Another event referred 
to this reign which is supposed to have led to the introduction of the Eng- 
lish, an important epoch in the history of Ireland, at which we have arrived, 
was the alleged abduction of Dervoghal, the wife of O'Euarc, prince of Brefihy, 
by the cruel and sacrilegious tyrant MacMurrough, who was obliged to make 
ample satisfaction for the outrage. But the truth of this story, which has 
been so long held as an authentic piece of history, has of late years been 
seriously questioned ; and we have heard from the late Professor O'Curry, 
that he had in his possession some Irish manuscripts which invalidate the 
claims of this episode of the Irish Helen to be regarded as a portion of our 
authentic history. The date of the Synod of Kells is 1152. By it tithes 
were first introduced into Ireland, but they were not enforced until after the 
English invasion, A.D. 1172, when they were estabhshed by the Svnod of 

' It Avas in the year 1161 Roderick O'Connor built a famous castle of " lime and stone at Tuam." 
1 During ttie reign of Murtagh Mac Neil), Monarch of Ireland, there was convened a national 
Synod at Kennanus or Kells in the county of Meath ; the design of this Council was the refor- 
mation of discipline and manners, and to institute two new Archbishopricks in Ireland, viz. those 
cf Dublin and Tuam. The persons appointed by the Pope to preside in this Council were Giolla 
Criost O'Conaire, Bishop of Lismore, and Pope's Legate, and the Koman Cardinal Johannes 
Papiro (Paparo) ; the four palls or copes were then conferred on the four Archbishops. This 
Council, says Keating, is thus recorded in an old Book of Cluainadnach, viz. in the year from 
the Incarnation, being bissextile, 1157 (52 for 57 is a mist.ake) was celebrated in the spring, a 
noble Council at Caennanus, in which Synod presided Cardinal John, a Presbyter of the blessed 
St. Lawrence, and the Assembly consisted of twenty-two Bishops, five Bishops elect and so many 
Abbots and Priors belonging to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and our apostolic father 
Eugenius. This Cardinal condemned, and by all proper methods extirpated simony and usury, 
and commanded tithes to be paid by apostolical authority. He delivered four copen (palls) to the 
four Archbishops of Ireland : — to the Archbishops of Dublin, of Tuam, of Cashel, and Armagh 
Primate over the rest ; and as soon as the Council was ended the said Cardinal passed the seas. 
Thus that old Book. Amongst the Bishops that assisted at this Council was Turgesius, Bishop 
of Limerick. The suffragans then appointed under the Archbishoprick of Cashel, were Limerick, 
Killaloe, Inniscatha (which, about the beginning of the twelfth century, was united to Limerick), 
Waterford, Lismore, Cloin, Cork, lioss and Ardfearth Sir James Ware says that this Synod 
■was held in 1152. — Andq. Uiber., cap. 16. 


In 1164, Donald, or Daniel O'Brien, sumamed the Great, succeeded his 
brother Murtagh in the crown of Limerick. Eoderick O'Connor, about this 
time, assumed being monarch of Ireland and held many wars with Donald, 
who would not acknowledge his sovereignty; at length, in the year 1167, 
they made peace and concluded an offensive and defensive alliance with each 
other. This Donald, king of Limerick, was a most virtuous, religious, and 
warhke man ; according to Hugh MacCurtin, he built and endowed eighteen 
monasteries. But as we find most ancient authors confound his actions with 
those of his son, Donogh, who succeeded him, before we give an account of 
the landing of the English in Ireland, we shall give a particular account of 
all the monasteries founded as weU by Donald as by his son Donogh, and 
shall distinguish between each. 



1169. This abbey of Holycross, in the county Tipperary, was founded by 
Donald O'Brien, king of Limerick ; it was so called for having a great relic 
of the holy cross in it : the words of the charter began thus : " Donald, by 
the grace of God, king of Limerick, to all kings, dukes, earls, barons, knights, 
and other Christians of whatsoever degree throughout Ireland, perpetual 
greeting m Christ, fcc." The Bishop of Lismore, as Pope's Legate, the Arch- 
bishop of Cashel and the Bishop of Limerick signed this charter as witnesses. 
King John, when Earl of Morton, comlrmed this foundation. The abbot of 
this house had title of Earl of Holycross, had a seat in the house of peers in 
Ireland, and was commonly Yicar-Greneral of the Cistertian Order in Ireland. 
The house was a daughter of the Cistertian abbey of Nenay, in the county of 

Suiry or Inislaunog. 

1172. Most authors say that this year Donald O'Brien, king of Limerick, 
founded this abbey for the Cistertian monks in the county of Tipperary, on 
the banks of the river Suir. Colgan says that this abbey was long before 
Donald's time, and that it was he who rebuilt and endowed it in 1187. 

The Cathedral of Cashel. 

1172. About this time, Donald O'Brien, king of Limerick, built a new 
cathedral in Cashel, from the ground and endowed it ; he converted the old 
cathedral of Cormac into a chapel or chapter-house ; he like-wise bestowed 
large revenues on the see of Cashel, to which his son Donogh, sumamed 
Carbrac, gave others in Thomond, and amongst the rest two islands called 
SuUeith and Kismacayl. This donation was confirmed by King John on 6th 
September, 1215. 

Xunneri/ of Limerick. 

1172. The said Donald, king of Limerick, founded a nunnery for Augus- 
tinian nuns of the Order of Canons Regular, in Limerick, in the English town. 
This house was dedicated to St. Peter and was called St. Peter's cell. 


Nunnery of Kil-oen. 

1172. The said Donald founded at Kil-oen, in the county of Clare, a nun- 
nery for Augustinian nuns of the Order of Canons Regular of St. Augustin. 

Clare or Kilmoney. 

1194. Donald, king of Limerick, or as others say his son, Donogh, in 
1200, founded an abbey for Canons Eegular at Kilmoney, near Clare, on the 
River Fergio (Fergus) . 

The said Donald either founded or rebuilt for the Canons Regular an abbey 
in the island called Inmsnegannenagh, or the island of Canons, in the Shan- 
non, between Limerick and the sea, nearly opposite Foynes island. 


1188. This was first an abbey and then a cell of Cistertians united to the 
abbey of Nenay. 


1194. In this year, Donald, king of Limerick, founded for Cistertian 
monks this abbey of Curcumroe, or Corcamrot, in the county Clare ; it was 
called the abbey of Our Lady of the Fruitful Rock ; it was situated in a very 
pleasant place and was daughter to the abbey of Furness in England. The 
cell of Kilsane was annexed to this abbey. Some say this abbey was founded 
by Donogh Carbrac, son of Donald, in 1200. 

1194. The same Donald founded in the county Tipperary, for the Cister- 
tian monks, the abbey of Kilcoul, as appears by the charter of confirmation, 
granted to it by King Henry III., and which mentions it to be founded by 
King Donald O^Brien. The records of the Cistertian order mention it to 
be founded in the year 1200, and that consequently it must be by his son 
Donogh Carbrac. This house was a daughter of the abbey of Jerpont. 

The Cathedral of Limerick. 
1194. About the time of the English first coming into Ireland, this pious 
king, Donald O^Brien, of Limerick, gave his own palace to the Church and 
of it made a Cathedral, which before was the small Church of St. IMunchin, 
now a parochial Church ; he built and endowed this new Cathedral which is 
dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The charter which 
he granted to Brictius,' bishop of Limerick, about this time, 1194, is as fol- 
lows : — " Domnald, king of Limerick, to all the faithfid of God, both present 
and to come, greeting : Know all, that I have given to Brictius, bishop of 
Lumneach, and his successors, and to the clergy of St. ]\Iary, Lumneach, in 
free and perpetual alms, the land of Imurgan and the land of Ivamnacham, 
from the arch of Imuregram to the land of Imalin, and from the ford of Ceinu 
to the river Sinan, with all its appurtenances, and in confirmation hereof I 
set my seal. Witness, Mathew, Archbishop of Cashel, and Ruadri va Gradei." 
See fidly on this subject the chapter devoted to the Cathedral. 

' Black Book of the Bishops of Limerick. 




1198. Kilsane, for Cistertian monks, in the county of Limerick. It in 
sometime became a cell belonging to the abbey of Curcumro, county Clare. 

St. Saviour's of Limerick of Bominicans, 
1227. Donogh Corbrac O'Brien, king of Limerick, this year built and 

endowed, m the city of Limerick, a convent for the Friars of the Order of St. 

Dommick, under the invocation and title of St. Sa\iour. This convent had 

large possessions m lands in and about the city ; the fishmg of the sahnon- 

weu- belonged to it, and St. Thomas's island where was a chapel of ease. 

The land gomg to Parteen, called Mona-na-Brahir, Hkewise belonged to it. 

In this year, 1241, this King Donagh was buj-ied in this convent and a mag- 

mficent statue was erected over his tomb. 

In 1644 this convent was in Eome erected into a university. 

[See the chapter relating to this convent and the Order of Dominicans in 


Bnnis of Franciscans. 
1240. This year, Donogh Carbrac O'Brien, king of Limerick, built for 
the Franciscans a most sumptuous convent in the town of Ennis, or Ennis 
Cluanruada, county Clare. The Church is yet standing, and a portion of it 
has been used for many years by the Protestants for their service. 

Galhally of Franciscans. 
1240, or thereabouts, this same Donogh Carbrac O'Brien, king of Lim- 
erick, founded for the Franciscans a convent in GalbaUy, being on the borders 
of the county Lunerick and the county Tipperary.' 

' Of Monasteries and Convents, (including some few afterwards founded, and which shall be 
more fully noticed in the proper place), the following, alone, were in the City and County of 
Limerick, viz. • — •' 

Canons Regular of St. Augustin. 











Ballingall — Carmelites, accord- 
ing to Ware, built by the Roches in the 14th 
century. Pat. 39th Elizab. called a Carmelite 
monastery, and granted to the Provost, &C.T.C.D. 

Adare — Observantine Franciscans, founded by 
Thos. Fitzmaurice and Joan his wife, 
A.D. 1264(T7are, vol. n. p. 28.) I 
Adare — Augustinians I 

Near Ballingarry — Franciscans 

Total Monasteries an I 

Canon Regular Nuns of St. Augustin. 

Cluain-Credhil, now Clarina 
Hydh Ita 
Calliagh, near Loughgur 

Cistertians or Bemardines. 

Newcastle — Knights' Templars 
Anug — Knights' Templars. 
Adare — Knights' Hospitallers 
Adare — Trinitarians 
Limerick— Knights' Templars. 

Limerick — Augustinians 

Any — Augustinians 

Ballintubber — Carmelites, some say Tem- 
plars, granted to Robert Browne of Bal- 

Convents— 30. 



To gratify the curious, we here insert certain catalogues with regard to the 
kin«^doni of Ireland in general, in order to show in what a flourishing state it 
was^'from the first preaching of Christianity until the coining of the English, 
both in learning, rehgion, sanctity, hospitality, and force of arms. Extracted 
out of Colgan's Lives of Irish Saints, and Gratianus Lucius, or John Lynch, 
Archdeacon of Tuam's Cambrensis Eversus. 

Kings of Ireland who were 
deemed Saints: — 

St. Cormacus, Kex Momoniae 
St. Cormacus, Rex Lagenise 
St. Aldus, Rex Lagenioe 
St. Felimeus, Rex Momonije 
St. Kellachus, Rex Cormacge 
St. Moelchobius, Rex totius 

St. Briea Boru, Rex totius 

St. Theodoricus,RexMomonia3 
St. Flathatus 
St. Sabina, Rcgina 
St. Temaria, Regina 
St. Brecanus, Hibernus Rex 


Twelve in all. 

IrishPrinces wlio were Saints: — 

St. Dermitius 
St. Guinerus, Myr. 
St. Hispadius, Myr, 
St. Fintanus 
St. Colmanus 
St. Cormachu3 
St. Ficbiaus 
St. Fierga 
St. Sugadius 
St. Maidocus 
St. Furseus 
St. Carthacus 
St. Foilanus 
St. Foilomanius 
St. Sernocus 
St. Papanus 
St. Fingar 
St. Abbanus 
Sa. Piala, Myr. 
Sa. Dynipna, Myr. 
Sa. Cumania 
Sa. Ernata 
Sa. Etbna, pa. 
Sa. Fidelmia 
Sa. Ethna, 2a. 

Sa. Sobellia 

Sa. Kentibernia 

Sa. Conchenna 

Sa. Brigida 

Sa. Maura 

Sa. Lafara 

S». 12 Filia; August! Kegi 

Sue. 31 Sorores S. Eudaei 

S. Eudseus 

Sa. Fancha;a 

Sa. Derfraicha 

Sa. Carechia 

S. Thadaeus, Dr 

Sa. Lochuina 

S. Marcellus, Dr 

Sa. Dominica, Myr. 

S. Macbethus, Dr 

Sae. 12 Filii Si. Brecani Regis 

S. Dongallus, Dr 

S. Nenidius 

S. Colea, Dr 

St. 12 Filii Sti. Brecani Regis 

S. Dubslanius, Dr 

S. Natalis 

S. Comeanus 

S. Florentinus 

S. Forchernus 

S. Ultanus 

S. Fuinanus 

S. Romualdus 

S. Kieranus, 1" 

197 in all. 

S. Columba, 1" 

S. Kieranis, 2« 

S. Columba, 2" 

S. Finbarrua 

Irish Saints writers ofndes: — 

S. Ibarus 

S. Fiednus 

S. Patricius 

S. Nemidus 

S. Columkil 

S. Mocteua 

S Albeus 

S. Brendanus 

S. Declanus 

S. Comgellus 

S. Congallus 

S. Odus 

S. Carthagus 

S. Patricius, Apost. 

S. Moloa 

S. Fachnanus, the founder of 

S. Mocteua 

the Academy of Ross 

S. Finianus 

St. Ainchellus 

S. Columbanus 


S. Kiaranus 

Johannes Soctus Eregina, 

S. Brendanus 

founder, with King Alfred, 

S. Brigida 

of the University of Oxoa 

Thirteen in all. 

Petrus ab Hibernia, Master 

to St. Thomas 

Richard Armachanus 

Marianus Scotus 

The number of Monies in some 

B. Marianus Gorman 

Monasteries in Ireland: — 

S. Gallus 

S. Lomanus 

300 under St. Fechinus 

S. Patrick, jun. 

150 under St. Natalis 

S. Benignus 

150 under St. Maidocus 

S. Evinua 

150 under St. Muncbin 

S. Comineus 

300 under St. Tehinus 

S. Adamnanus 

430 under St. Mochteus 

S. Murus 

879 under St. Carthagus 

S. Carnecus 

1000 under St. Gobbanus 

S. Ultanus 

1500 under St. Lasserianus 

S. Eminus 

1500 in Mungret Abbey 

S. Dalanus 

3000 under St. Brendanus 

S. Herlatius 

3000 under St. Finnianus 

S. Cathaldus 

3000 under St. Congellus 

S. Mocteus, 20 

3000 under St. Geraldus 

S. Fintanus 

150 under St. Monnenabirg, 

S. Cuthbertus 

in France 

S. Moelesa 

300 under St. Columbanus 

SS. 5 GildsB 

3000 under St. Caidocua 

S. Herlatius, 2o 

S. Colga Sapiens 

S. Cumeanus 

Ancient Irish Doctors and 

S. Sylvauus 

Writers : — 

S. Tiidolinus 

St. Sedulius, Ur 

S. Daganus 

St. Cselius Sedulius, Ur 

S. Cuthbertus, 2^ 



B. Claudius Clemens, founder 
of the Academy of Paris 

S. Eupertus 

S. Aileranus 

S. Moelranus 

S. 0engusiu3 

S. Gildas Coemanus 

S. Gildas Madusius 

S. Delanus, 2s. 

S. Duinanus 

S. Dageus 

For more Irish Writers con- 
sult Sir James Ware on this 


The number of Monasteries 
founded by the Irish Sai7its : — 

7 by St. IManchinus 

8 by St. Fodolinus 
24 by St. Albanus 
28 by St. Fidianus 
100 by St. Columba 
100 by St. Luanus 
100 by St. Moluanus 
700 by St. Patrick 

Monasteries founded by and for 
the Irish in foreign coun- 
tries : — 

2 at Katisbon 

1 at Fossium in Flanders 

1 at Vienna 

1 at Nuremberg 

1 at Eystadia 

1 at Wirstburg 

130 in Ireland & 90 Martyrs 

Irish Saints who preached the 
Gospel in other countries : — i 


St. Cathaldus at Tarentum 

St. Emilianus at Faenza 

St. Silanus & St. Frigidianus 

at Lucca 
St. Andrew & St. Donatus at 

Lupentum, Fieboli 
John Albinus, founder of the 

Academy at Papia or Tici- 

St. Comiaius at Bobiura 
St. Gunifortius, Myr. at Milan 
St. Livinus, sen. 
S. Peregrinus of Alps 

IX FRANCE — 45. 

St. Mansuetus, Ap. of Toul 
St. Elipius, Myr. at Tone 
St. Finlagenus at Metz 
St. Praecordius at Corbels 
St. Forcentius at Amboise 
St. Fridolinus at Poictiers 
St. Helia at Angouleme 
St. Anatolius at Perigord 
St. Fiacruis about Lyons 
St. Furseus at Peronne 
S. Sidonius S. Macallinus 
S. Adeodatus S. Mombulus 
St. Laurentius at Anghe 

St. Momon, Myr. at Leone 
St. Florentius 

St.Arpogastus aboutNarbonne 
St. Caidocus in Picardy 
St. Autbodus, Laudunum 


St. Leiginus 

St. Joava 

St. Tenanus 

St. Geldasius of S. Briene 

St. Briochus, and others 

St. Maclorius of St. Malo 


St. Gilriandus \ <i 

St. Hernanus (_ ^ 

St. Germanus ( "S 

St. Veranus ) i^ 

St. Abraius St. Petranus 

St. Merolilanus St. Frandia 

St. Pompa 

S. Passima ) ^ 


St.Columbanus St.Maimbodus 
St. Colombanus, jun. 


St. Romoldus St. Pympria 
St. Fedegandus St.Gerebernus 
St. Himelinus St. Dj'mphna 
S. Livinus, sen., S. Elias, &c. 


Sta. Oda 

St. Levinus St.Wasualplus 

St. GuthagoniusSt.Columbanus 


St. Luiglius St. Vulganius 
St. Suiglanus St. Fursaeus 
St. Kilianus St. Obodius 


St. Ettonus St.Wanamphus 


St. Albeus St. Molumbus 


St. Foronnatus St. Eloquius 
S. Vincentius S. Meno 


St. Ultanus St. Bertuinus 
St. Foillanus St. TuUanus 


St-Wironus St. Heronus 

St. Pelchemus 

St. Othgerus St. Acca 


St. Alto & S. Virgilius 
St. Abuinus at Thuring 
St. Desibodus at Treves 
St. Ethradus at Alsace and 
Bavaria St. Magnus 

St. Marinas, Myr. 
St. Fridolinus in Switzerland 
St. Gallus in Switzerland 
St. Tontanus & St. Colonatus 
St. John at Michaelsburg 
St. Kiliarius at Wurtzburg 
St. Rupertus the Boii, Apostlo 

of Bavaria 
St. Albertus at Ratisbon 
St. Diocola > ^^ Constance 
St. Fmtanus) 
St. Eusebius Curensum 
Theodosius, patron of Con- 
Frudbart, Kuniald, Vendeliii 
S. Maccirius Archus 
St. Hildulphus Treverensis 

S. Arbogastus > a -g-entinasia 
St. Florence I Argentmasis 

St. Eliphius at Cologne 

S. Armichadus of Fuld 

S. Kortilla 

S. Gidilarius of Saltzburg, 


S. Albinus, Ap. of Thuringia 

S. Vatalis Patto 

St. Kilian, Ap. of Franconift 

S. Harrucus 


St. Germanus, first Bishop 
St. Connidruis 
St. Romulus 
St. Machaldus 


St, Buo Apost. of whom 3 

St. Emulphus, and 24 others 


St. Columba 

St. Adianus, Northumberland 

St. Fuinanus St. Colmanus 

St. Sellachus St. Brendanua 

St. Madomnochus 

St. Baneus & Tuda 

St. ]\Iaidocus St. Sennanus 

St. Molugga St. Scotinus 

St. Ultanus Sa. Burienna 

Sa. Tia & Iva 

St. Piranus 

Sa. Bega & Modwenna 

Sa. Ceadda Faelbiiua 

St. Abbanus St. Eochdius 

St. Cuthbertua of Lindisfarm 

777 Martyrs 

St. Asaph, B. of St. AsapU 

St. Keranus 

S. Abban of Abingdon 

S. Adamannus 

S. Botulphus of Botulfstowe 

or Boston 
S. Cerlac, B. of the Mercians 
S. Dicullus of Boseharn 
SS.Gebanus, Indractus, Drusa 
St. Maldulphus of Malmcsbury 

& St. John 

1 We supplement many of the names from the Apologia of Stephen White, S.J. of Clonmel. 



HoBpitalsfor receiving Plhjrhas 
and Strangers : — 

900 in Ulster 
900 in Coiinaught 
930 in Leinster 
1030 in Munster 

IrishSaints of the same name: 

10 Gobbani 
12 Dichuelli 
12 Maidoci 

12 Odrani 

13 Camani 

13 Dimini 

14 Brendani 
14 Finniani 

14 Ronani 

15 Connalli 
15 Cormaci 
15 Dermitii 

15 Lugadii 

16 LassarEe 

17 Sarrani 

18 Ernini 

18 Foelbei 

19 Syllani 

20 Kyranii 
20 Ultani 

22 Killiani 

23 Aidi 

24 Columbce 

24 Brigidiie 

25 Seaani 
28 Aidani 
30 Cronani ' 
34 Mocheraii 
43 Laveriani 
58 Mochuani 
55 Fintani 
200 Colmani 

The nmnher of Irish Saints 
who preached in other coun- 
tries : — 

10 preached in Italy 
78 preached in France 
5 preached in Lorrain 
13 preached in Burgundy 

50 preached in Netherland 
11 preached in Friesland 
92 preached in Germany 
26 preached in Iceland 
100 preached in Scotland 
59 preached in England 

Councils in Ireland : — 
At Lone 
At Kevenu 
At Meath, 1106 
At Cloonia, 1162 
At Cashell, 1162 
At Cashell, 1172 
At Cashell, 1166 
At Attabuylochia, 1167 
At Fiadmac, 1111 
At Rathbraisil, 1115 
At Ardmach, 1170 
At Mellifont, 1157 
AtKells, 1157 
At Eoscommon, 1158 
At Leogane 

At Innis Padrighy, St. Pa- 

We know of 2229 Insli Saints, even not counting their companions, 
of wliom 300 preached the gospel in foreign countries, not counting their 
companions. Of these 529 were holy abbots ; 330 were bishops and 
martyrs, and numberless holy bishops ; 31 archbishops of Armagh were saints ; 
21 of whom immechately succeeded each other; 990 Irish monks were 
martyred by the Danes in the monastery of Benchear; 1200 Irish monks 
were martyred by the Danes together with then* abbot Abel; 777 Irislunen 
martyrs in England ; and only one, St. Odronus, Proto mart3rr, was martyred 
in Ireland by the Irish. 23 Enghsh saints received their studies and educa- 
tion in Ireland ; 3000 others have studied in Ireland; 100 Cambri or from 
Brittany have studied in Ireland. Innumerable were the ItaHaus, French, 
in short from aU nations who had recourse to Ireland in order to perfect 
themselves in their studies, and the knowledge of the scriptures ; so that it 
may weU be doubted whether Ireland acquired more glory from the great 
number of saints whom it sent abroad in order to teach and preach the 
gospel to foreign nations, or from the great number of foreigners who 
resorted to Ireland in order to be perfected in aU manner of hterature and 

' There were four principal Universities in Ireland, viz. Ardmagh, Cashel, Lismore, and Dun- 
da-leathglass. In Armagh, under St. Dubthach, Bishop, anno 513, were 7000 scholars. In 
Cashel, under Cormac Mac Cullenan, King and Archbishop in the year 901, were 5000 students, 
and six hundred Conventual monks ; the like number were in Lismore and Dun-da-leathglass. 
Many were the other great schools dispersed throughout the kingdom ; whereas even after the 
coming of the English at Cluanraid near Ennis, there were 600 Scholars, and 350 Monks, 
supported by O'Brien, King of Limerick. The Irish in these days made a beginning of the 
Universitj' of Oxford in England, founded the University of Paris and that of Pavia. Fifty-two 
Catholic kings reigned in Ireland until the coming of the English, consequently, 197 kings in all 
reigned in Ireland until that event. Whoever reads the antiquities must be con\'inced that it 
abounded in gold and silver, as every person of distinction wore a golden ring and a golden chain ; 
in the reign of Candaridtheach, their helmets were made of silver, all their chalices and Church 
utensils were made of gold and silver ; and the ounce of gold paid to the Danes yearly, as a tribute 
for every nose in the kingdom, is a proof of their riches. — Hugh M^Curtin. 




It was thus that Ireland was situated with regard to religion and education, 
at the penod of the mvasion, which must have been regarded by the Norman 
conquerors of England as an inevitable and necessary supplement to the 
conquest of the Anglo-Saxons, though it was not attempted for a fuU century 
after the battle of Hastings. But from the tune that Henry II. had 
obtamed from the EngHshman, Nicholas Breakspere, who then fiUed the 
chair of St. Peter imder the name of Acbian IV., the BuU of donation which 
had been procm-ed under the hypocritical representation that theL-ish Church 
was in a state of deplorable corruption, the attempt at invasion was only a 
question of tune. Unfortunately our countrymen were divided at the time, 
wbich made the work of the invaders comparatively easy. The Irish were 
admittedly more chvided then, than they were at any previous period of 
their history; and if they suspected the lengths to which the ambition of 
the hrst mvaders would extend, which it does not appear they did, for the 
,i-^; -^°"^ Masters say the Irish thought nothing of these '^fleets 
ot the i^lemmgs,^^ as they caUed the hivaders, they were stiU quite unpre- 
pared lor the work of treachery which has conferred lasthig inlamy on the 
^f ^^,^^. termed MacMorrogh. We regret to have to record that the house 
ot U Bnen forgot m this crisis of the national fortunes the noble principle 
ot Its lounder, Biian, who never on any occasion could be induced to avaU 
mmselt ot the assistance of foreigners against the general interest of the 
nation. Untori;unately, the king of Thomond had not yet forgiven Roderick 
tor the assumption of the chief Sovereignty, nor forgotten the long contkued 
supremacy of the dymasty to which he himseK belonged. The imjjortant 
events ot the mvasion commenchig in the descent of three or fom- hundi-ed 
men and terminatmg m the recognition by O^Connor of Henry as Suzerain, 
together mth the formation of the armed colony caUed the EngKsh Pale, 
belonging to the general history of Ireland, cannot with propriety be given 
m detail m a local history. Stanihm-st and a contemporary, Newbrigensis, give 
a very ui^avorable notion of the characters, circumstances, and motives of the 
leaders ot this expedition, which is generaUy supposed to have occurred in 
tHe month of May 1169, at a place near Fethard m Wexford, called Bagan. 
bon where traces of the shght fortification mentioned by Maurice Regan 
m his Fragment of Irish History still exist.' 

On the aiTJval of Strongbow, which had been preceded by that of Raymond , 
le laros, the invaders made rapid progress. They took Loughgarnan (Wex- 
ford), and entered Portlahge (Waterford) by storm. GiUemaire (or Reginald), 
a Dane who commanded the tower, and Ua Eaelain (OThelan), lord of the 
uecies, were put to the sword, -with seven hundred men. The invaders next 
enforced the submission of the Danish occupants of Dublin. O^Ruarc and 
U CarroU were obhged to retire after besieging Dublin for three days ; and 
Asgali, or Asculphus, the Danish ruler, was deposed to make room for King 

''s\ron<!w''A^^''"H°f'.?''? entrenchments, which are situated near Fethard, are called 
RaJmoST^ro,7,i. ^,'^^*'^V^''1 of Strongbow's debarkation was at Waterford as that of 
SStwo ?h,°n, fif R ^""""^Tn- ^^'' '?''"'^ "^ Baganbon is said to be derived from FU,- 
landing ^ ' *^' '^''^"' '"^ ^'""'' ^'^'^^ ^^^ AnglcNorman adventurers burned after their 


Dermod, who made several destructive forays in Meatli and Breffiiy, and 
returned to Dublin laden with spoils. Macarthy, with the troops ot Des- 
mond, had gained a victory at Waterford, but this was the only success 
obtained at the time, and it appears to have been of little value._ 

It is mortifying to have to record of a scion of the illustrious house ot 
Brian —whose descendants, as we have stated in an earher chapter, still 
occupy territories which have been m the possession of this ancient race tor 
full 1600 years— that Donald O^Brien of Thomond, and his vahant Dalcas- 
sians iomed the enemies of theh comitry agahistthe Irish monarch, Eoderick 
O^Comior— though we shall find the O'Briens and Dalcassians fightuig 
against and defeating the Enghsh shortly after. Towards the close of the 
Year 1170, a Connaught fleet, foUowed by a Connaught army, descended the 
Shannon, invaded Thomond, plundered Ormond, and destroyed the wooden 
bridge at KiUaloe. The next year was rendered remarkable tor the deatH ot 
Dermod Macmorrogh.i 

On the death of MacMorrogh, "Diarmaid na Gall," "Dermot of the 
Forein-ners " as the Irish historians caU him. Earl Strongbow got hmiselt 
proclcSmed King of Leinster, to which he had no right whatever according to 
the Iri^h laws In the meantime, while the northern dynasts were employed 
in quarrelling amongst themselves, the territories of the degenerate king ot 
Thomond were harassed by continual expeditions from Connaught. int^e 
meantime, Henry had determined upon papng a visit to Ireland, and in the 
month of October, 1172, he landed safely at Waterford, where he estabhshed 

his head quarters .^ . , • .i • v.- -u „ 

On the arrival of Henry, who was accompanied m this expechtion by a 
force consisting of four hundred knights and four hundred men at arms 
Strongbow presented him with the keys of the city of Waterford, and chd 
homac^e after the feudal manner for the kmgdom of Lemster. Dermod 
McCarthy prince of Desmond, on the next day suiTcndered the city ot Cork, 
did homage and consented to pay tribute ; and King Henry, now an acknow- 
ledged sovereign, advanced at the head of his army to Lismore, from which, 

. » Dermod Macmorrogb, King of Lemster, by ^yhom a trembling sod was made of all Ireland- 
after bavin- brougbt over the Saxons-after having done extensive injuries to the Irish-after 
Snrplunde ed and burnt many churches, such as Kells, Clonard, and others, died before the 
pnroffvearf after his ravages through Meath), of an insufferable and unknown disease^for he 
became putrd Sh e sUl living, through the miraculous power of God, Columbkille, and Fmneeu. 
andXeo her lints of Ireland whose churches he had violated and burned some time Feviou^y. 
He died in Ferna-mor without making a wUl, without repentance, without the body of Christ, 
without being anointed, as his evil conduct mented."-AnnalsoJthe Four Masters. 

a It is Xasant to have to state that the Danes and Irish of the towns (Wexford, Waterford, 
and Dubl?n)Tn wh ch the Danes had settled, offered a brave and not always meffectual resistance 
t?thP^ew invaders The Danes of Duleek, for instance, had severely revenged an insult offered 
by the S^to t^^^^^^^ saint, St. Kianan, by the Knights of Milo de Cogan ; but As^l , 

t4 DubUn Dane who had procured reinforcements from the Danes of Man and he Hebrides, 
was iotequdirsuccesBful, being defeated and slain by the same Milo de Cogan, with the leader 

''^AuSt Roderick saw the necessity of an energetic effort, and accompanied by O'Kuarc and 
O'c'rro of Oriel, JSvanced against Strongbow and De Cogan. Unfortunately, however, he 
abaidoi the sicg; of Dublin, for an expedition into Leinster whther he proceede^^^^^^^^^ 
Durnr^e of destrovhig the standing corn, and leaving his camp slightly defended, war, defeated 
w rthe loss of ?o g?eat a quantity of supplies that they victualled Dublin for a year. Another 
Trmv of O'Knarclas also defeated by De Cogan. In this battle OTvuarc lost his son, who 
Srreatly distinguished himself in the engagement which was fought outside the fortifications 
of tho citv, and with no other result than the loss of many lives on both sides. _ 

3 rhe authorities followed in this account of the English invasion are, the "yberma Expur- 
j,ataofGiraiau.sCambrensis, the Metrical Chronicle in Regan, ^^ are s Annals, OHahe.tjs 
Ogvgia and the Annals of the Four Masters, under the years m which they occur. 


after a brief sojourn, he proceeded to Cashel, where, in Cormac^s Chapel, he 
received in succession the submission of Donald O^Brien, king of Thomond, 
who surrendered to him his city of Limerick, promised tribute a>nd swore 
fealty — an example which was followed by Donchad of Ossory, OTaolan 
(Phelan) of the Desies, and other chiefs of Munster. We have already 
mentioned that King Eoderick O'Connor had dispatched an army into 
Thomond to punish the defection of O'Brien, who had formed an alliance 
with Macmon-ogh, and had fought several battles with the Irish monarch, 
being assisted by Fitzstephen, who was now a prisoner in Reginald's Tower 
at Waterford,^ whither he had been brought by the men of Wexford. On 
returning to Waterford, however, Hemy set Fitzstephen free, inflicted severe 
punishment upon his treacherous enemies, and annexed Wexford and the 
adjoining territory to his royal domain. There is no authority whatever in 
the native annals for the statement that Henry was now recognised by a 
meeting of the states of Ireland ; nor that all the Archbishops and Bishops of 
Ireland now waited upon Henry, and not only tendered their own submission, 
but gave him letters signed and sealed, and making over to him and his heirs 
for ever the sovereignty of Ireland. 

In the year 1172 was held the celebrated Synod of Cashel, in which 
various rules were made for the enforcement of discipline and morahty, for 
there was no doctrinal matter discussed at this much misrepresented meeting, 
whatever assertions to the contrary may have been made by interested parties. 
The payment of tythes, which had been previously enjoined at the Synod of 
Kells, was again enforced, at this Synod, as also the catechising of infants, 
the rejection of marriages with relations, and the exemption of ecclesiastical 
property from the exactions of laymen, as well as from the erics or contribu- 
tions for homicide. In other respects the Irish laws were not interfered with, 
the people being governed by their own Brehon Laws and their native usages 
and institutions from the time of Henry the II. to that of Ehzabeth. 
Matthew Paris, Littleton, Ware, and even O'Connor, have strangely mistaken 
the nature of another meeting held by Henry at Lismore, which they misre- 
present as a parliament that " communicated to Ireland the laws and customs 
of England." Whereas it appears clearly from the proceedings of the Synod 
that there was no interference with the old laws and customs. Amongst 
the territories granted in the county of Limerick to Fitzgerald and his 
relatives, besides those in Cork and Kerry, were 100,000 acres of land in the 
barony of Connello, ceded to them by the native family of O'Coimell (from 
whom Castleconnell and Carrig O'Connell, now Carrigogunnell, received their 
name) " in consideration," says Lynch, " of lands assigned them in the 
counties of Kerry and Clare, where branches of that family^ continue to the 

' Fitzstephen -was also confined in Beg Erin, in Wexford Harbour, about two miles from 

* Desmonds. — The territory which gave its enormous power to the great house of Desmond, 
was acquired under curious circumstances. King John gave Desmond and Decies to FitzAntho- 
ny. This feudal lord, had five daughters, all of whom were married, the youngest being the wife 
of John FitzThomas FitzGerald. In the Irish civil wars, he was the only one of the sons-in-law 
of FitzAnthony who took the king's side ; so Edward I,, as Lord of Ireland, gave him Decies and 
Desmond in 1258. John FitzThomas came to Dublin with the royal lettters patent, and called 
upon the Lord Justice to grant him seisin of this fine estate. But Stephen de Longespee, who 
then held the oiRce, had secret ties which bound him to the other sons-in-law of the late Lord of 
Desmond, and he would not complj' with this reasonable demand. FitzThomas showed the 
letters patent. The king, said Longespee, has been grossly deceived. Furious at such a charge, 
the haughty Geraldine departed from Dublin, and set the first example of resistance to the con- 
stituted authorities for which his house were afterwards so famous. He called the tenants of 



present day." At an earlier period the O^Tracies are mentioned in the 
Annals of the Four Masters as chief of these territories.^ 

Decies and Desmond together, showed them the letters patent, and then took forcible possession 
of that extensive country. The King's Treasurer refused to receive the rent due to the crown, 
the King's Justice refused to acknowledge him as owner of these lands ; but FitzThomas even- 
tually succeeded against^them both, was created Earl of Desmond, and left these estates to his 
posterity. And by it a part of them is still held; for the Knights of Glin and Kerry are 
Geraldines of the IDesmond Branch ; the great Mitchelstown estate has descended to the Earls of 
Kingston, as direct heirs to the White Knights, also Geraldines ; and FitzAnthony's lordship of 
Decies, passing to the younger son of one of the Earls of Desmond, is still possessed by his direct 
heir, the fair lady in whom the great family of Fitzgerald of the Decies ended, having given her 
hand and property to a Villiers, from which marriage Lord Stuart de Decies descends. 

• Maurice Began thus continues the history of the king's movements, as we find him translated 
in the quaint version by Sir George Carew, Lord President of Munster, contained in Harris's 
Hibernica: — 

" The Kynge, making but little stale at Waterford, marched into Dublin, whych Citie the 
Earle deliverid unto him ; who committed the keepeinge thereof to Hugh de Lacy. 

" After some small abode at Dublyn, the Kynge tooke his Jornay into Mounster, where the 
Archbushop of Cashell came unto hym ; at Lismore he gave Direction for the building of a 
Castle ; from whence he returned into Leinster. 

" The Kjmge made his aboade at Dublin, and the Earle Eichard at Kildare ; and in thys Tyme 
of the Kyng's beinge in Ireland all sorts of Victualles were at excessive Kates. 

" While the Kynge remained at Dublin, by Messingers and Intelligence out of England he 
was certified that his son, the yonge King Henry, had rebelled against him, and that Normandy 
was in Danger to revolt unto hym. 

" This ill news troubled the Kj^nge beyond all Measure ; and inforced him to hasten his return 
out of Ireland. The Cittie of Waterford he left in the Custodie of Kobert Fitz Bernard, and 
Dublyn unto Hugh de Lacy. Kobert Fitz Stephen, Meyler Fitz Henry, and Myles Fitz David, 
■were in a sort restrained, and to remain at Dublyn with Lacy. Befor his departur from Dublyn 
he gave unto Hugh de Lacy the Inheritance of all Meath, to hold of hym at fifty Knights Fees, 
and unto John de Courcey he gave all Ulster, if he could but conquer it. 

" When the Kynge had taken provisionall Order for the Affaires of Ireland, he went to Weixford, 
where he imbarqued, and arrived at Portfinan in Wales, halfe a League from St. David's, and 
in his Companie Miles de Cogan, whom he carryed with him out of Ireland ; and from thence 
with all possible Expedition he passed through England, and so into Normandie. 

" The King being departid, the Earl Richard returned into Femes, and ther he gave his 
Daughter in Marriage to Kobert de Quincy, and with her the inheritance of the Duffren and the 
Constableship of Leinster, with the Banner and Ensigne of the same ; the Wordes of the Author 
are the -c — 

Sa fille i' ad Marie 

A Kobert de Quincj-, lad done 

Hoc esteit le Mariage 

Vecent fut le baruage, 

A Robert la Donat de Quincv 

Et tut le Daffer altreffi 

Le Constable de LejTiestre 

Et I'Ensigne et le Bannere. 

His Daughter he married 

To Robert de Quincy ; 

And when the Marriage was solemnised, 

He gave to Robert de Quincy 

Not only the Duffereyn, 

But the Constableship of Leinster, 

And the Ensign and Banner thereof. 

From thence he M^ent to Kildare, makeing manie incursions unto Ophalie upon O'Dempsie, Lord 
of that Countrey, who refused to come upon hym, and to deliver Hostages. He gave Maurice 
de Prendergast* (in performance of his promise made unto him Avhen he brought him into 
Ireland) Fernegenal, for the service of ten Knights, which was afterwards conferred on Kobert 
Fitz-Godobert, but by what means he obtained it I know not." — Maurice Regan's Fragment of 
the History of Ireland. 

This Fragment is now published bj' Pickering, the text carefully made out by the eminent 
scholar, Francisque Michel. And it appears that the poet sets out by stating, not that he is 
Maurice Regan, but that he obtained his information direct from Maurice Regan. 

* Prendkrgast. — Maurice de Prendergast, one of the most eminent of the companions of 
Strongbow iu the conquest of Ireland, was Lord of Prendergast, a castle and small parish near 
Haverford AVest, in Pembrokeshire. He is traditionally reported to have been related to Strong- 
bow by his mother. Dowling's Annals style him " nobilis." Holinshed says he was " a gentle- 
man, born and bred in South Wales ;" a righte valiante captain," and a " lustic and bardie man, 
born about Milford, in West Wales." Whilst Giraldus gives him likewise the character of being 
" vir probus et streuuus." 

He was tiie first to bring reinforcements to Kobert Fitz-Stephen, reaching Ireland the day 
nfter that celebrated soldier, having under bis command two ships, ten knights, and sixty 
nrchers. This was in May, 11GI> ; Dowling saj-s on the 2nd of that mouth. 


The rebeUion of the king of Desmond''s son against his father, who had 
put him to death, is explained by the fact of these facile surrenders of the 

We find him taking a prominent part in many of the ensuing fights, which are graphically 
described in the contemporary poem, the " Conquest of Ireland," partly derived from information 
furnished by Maurice Regan, the secretary of king Derniod. 

In the great fight -with the Prince of Ossorj', when that dynast had almost defeated the joint 
army of king Dermod and the English, it was the personal influence and words of Maurice de 
Prendergast that persuaded the allies to make their third and successful assault on the fortifica- 
tions erected by Donald of Ossory. His address is given in the " Conquest of Ireland," Juie 
666, which may be modified into French as follows : — 

" Seigneurs barons communals [comrades and fellow soldiers] 

Hastivement passons nous icel val. 

Que nous f ussions en la montagne ! 

En dur champ, et en la plaine ! 

Car arraes vous aimez, les plusieurs 

Vassals hardies et combateurs : 

Et les traiteres sont tons nus 

Hauberts ni brunes (?) n'ont vetus ; 

Pourquoi, si tournous en sur champ 

lis n'auront de mort garant." [No security against death]. 

We thus find that the superiority of the English arms and armour was an important ingredient 
in the rapid conquest of Ireland. 

Dermod M'Morrough eventually became so overbearing to the English, after Strongbow's 
departure from Ireland, as to disgust many of them, and among others the haughty Maurice de 
Prendergast. He determined to return to Wales with his retinue, consi Liiig of 200 soldiers. 
But King Dermod opposing his designs by force and treachery, Maurice joined with Donald, 
the prince of Ossor}', in attacking Dermod with success. But Donald and his Irish could not 
act long in cordial alliance with the English, who were under the orders of Prendergast ; and 
after many adventures, the latter eventually fought his way back to Wales. The next year, 
1170, however, saw Strongbow and Prendergast on their return to Ireland, with fifteen hundred 
men ; where they ^landed on the eve of St. Bartholomew : or, as the Anglo Norman has it ; 
" Solum le dit as ansciens 

Bien tost apres, Richard li quens 

A Waterford ariva : 

Bien quinz cent od sei mena. 

La vUe Seint Bartholomee 

Esteit li quens arrive." — Sec. V. 1501. 

We next read of Prendergast as ambassador, jointly with the Archbishop of Dublin, from the 
Normans besieged in that city to their Irish besiegers. But as the latter would not agree to 
permit the Norman lords to hold Leinster, even as a fief of Roderick O'Connor, the king of Con- 
naught, the negociation had no result, and eventually the Irish were defeated. 
" E plus de mil e cine cent 

L ont ossis de cele gent 

E des Engleis i ont naufre 

Ne mes un serjant a p&. 

Le champ esteit remis le jor 

A Ricard, le bon contur ; 

Et les Yrreis sunt returnez 

Desconfis e debaretez. 

Cum Den volait, a cele feis 

Remist le champ a nos Engleis ; 

Tant troverent garnesun, 

Ble, ferin e bacun, 

Desque un an en la cite 

VittaiUe uvent a plente." — V. 1950. 
The above extract shows us at how early a date the " bacun," for which Limerick has been 
so long celebrated, was an Irish commodity, as it was from the pillage of Roderick's camp, that 
the English obtained the " vittaille a plente." 

O'Brien, the monarch of Munster, had joined Strongbow, who was his brother-in-law, both 
having married daughters of MacMorrogh. The gallant Prince of Ossorj', deeming it hopeless 
to contend further with the English, obtained a safe conduct, and visited Strongbow at Idough, 
where he and the king of ^Munster were encamped with 2,000 men. Maurice de Prendergast 
agreed to be his conductor.^But when he appeared before Strongbow, the latter violently 
upbraided him for opposing Dermod, bis legitimate monarch ; and O'Brien, who coveted the rich 
lands of Ossory, pressed Strongbow to treat Donald as a traitor. 



Insh princes ; and it is curious to reflect how easily the same immense pro- 
perty^ which now passed from the MacCarthies to the Geraklines^ passed 
again to other English strangers after the rebellion of the usurping Earl of 
Desmond, from the descendants of these very invaders. In the latter case 
the Enghsh had no right whatever to transfer the property any more than in 
the former, for the rebellious Earl of Desmond was not the lawful owner of 
the property which the Enghsh confiscated !• 

In the year 1175, according to Ware, who follows the account given by 
English authors, Henry 11. sent Nicholas Prior of Willingford, and William 
Eitz-Aldehn, ancestor of the De Burgos, to Ireland, with the bull of Pope 
Alexander III., which confirmed that of Adrian, and was read and approved 
of in an assembly of bishops at Waterford, conferring on this Prince the 
title of Lord of Ireland and other privileges. But there is no mention of 
this in the Irish Annals. — After discharging this commission, Fitz-Aldelm 
and Nicholas, it is stated, repaired to the King in Normandy, when they 
succeeded so far in prejudicing Henry against Eaymond, that he ordered his 
recall. — Just, however, as he was on the point of departing, O^'Brien of 
Thomond surrounded Limerick with a large force, and the troops refusing to 
march under any but Eaymond, Strongbow was obhged to restore him to 

" Le reis O'Brien vet conseiller 
At gentil cuntguerrer 
Qu'il feit prendre li trecheur 
Si li feit livrer a deshonur." — V. 2094. 

Nor was O'Brien the only chief inclined to this act of treachery. 

" E li Baruns, san mentir, 
Le voleint tuz consentir." 

But Prendergast burned with indignation at such a breach of martial honor. He ordered his 
own retainers to arms, and took instant steps to secure the sanctity of the oath which accom- 
panied the safe conduct to the Prince of Ossory. 

" Quent morice le barun 
Garniz esteit del traisun, 
Sa gent feseit par tut mander 
Que euz se fesent tost armer. 
Dunt se est Morice escrie : 
Baruns, que avez enpense ? 
Vos feiz avez trespassez, 
Vers moi estez parjurez." 

He swore by his sword no one should injure the Ossorian ; and he carried out his resolution ; for 
Strongbow gave him wp that prince, and ho brought him back in safety to his own camp, slaying, 
of the O'Briens, " u nef u diz," nine or ten whom he found pillaging the Prince's territory. 

Wearied with this life, but still a warrior even when a monk, Prendergast gave his lands of 
that name in Pembrokeshire to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and joined that order. 
Their chief establishment in Ireland was the famous Hospital of Kilmainham ; and of this 
monastery he was Prior, and died in possession of that dignity in 1205. William, his younger 
son, was ancestor of the Prendergasts of Mayo, called Mac Maurice after their great ancestor, 
and who gave their name to the barony of Clanmorris, Claremorris, and other localities in Mayo. 
Philip, the eldest son, was married to Maude, the daughter of the ill-fated Robert de Quincy, 
Constable of Leinster, who married Strongbow's daughter by hia first marriage, and was slain in 
battle a few days later. From him descended the Prendergasts of Enniscorthy, Newcastle, 
Beauver, and Blitchelstown. The latter was formerly described as in the County of Limerick. 
William do Prendergast of Kilbyde was maj^or of Limerick in 1318 — See the Plea, No. 83, in 
the 11th of Edward II. And the name frequently occurs about this time, the family estates 
extending from Doneraile, by Mitchelstown, to Newcastle, near Clonmel, a mountain district of 
which the northern slopes still partly belong to the county of Limerick. 

' It appears from the Irish State Papers tliat even so late as the year 1503, the Kavenagha, 
the representatives of tlie royal house of Leinster, were paid eighty marks yearlj- by the English 
Government as rios dhti, or black rent, besides being allowed £40 by the county Wexford ort 
Account of their descent, or i-ather of their still remaining powers to make themselves dreaded 
^vithin the limits of their ancient soveieigntj-. 




liis command, and ordered him to proceed to Cashel, near whicli city O^Brien, 
raising the siege of Limerick, had strongly entrenched himself. On this 
occasion Raymond was, we regret to say, aided by the chiefs of Ossoiy and 
Kinsale, to whose exhortations, as well as to the impetuous valour of Meyler 
Fitzhenry, Raymond was greatly indebted for the Adctory which he obtained. 
The period of Irish subjugation was now not long deferred — though the 
jurisdiction of the English can hardly be said to have extended beyond the 
limits of the pale until the reign of James I. The brave king of Thomond 
was now obKged to ask for peace, and the Irish monarch Roderick, finding 
it impossible to make head against his enemies, had at last determined to 
send an embassy to England to make as good terms for hunseK as he could. ^ 

1 The ambassadors appointed to negotiate for the unfortunate Eoderick, -were Catholicus or 
Cayley O'Duffy, archbishop of Tuam, the abbot of Clonfert, and " Master Laurence," Chancellor 
to Roderick, who, according to some writers, was no other than the illustrious patriot St. Laurence 
O'Toole, who after doing all he could to save the independence of his native country, retired to 
France where he died. The contracting parties met at Windsor, and the result is thus briefly 
described in the Leinster Annals : — " Anno 1175, Catholicus O'Duffy came out of England from 
the Emperor's son, with the peace of Ireland and the royal sovereignty of all Ireland to Rory 
O'Connor, and his own Corgeadh (province) to each provincial king in Ireland, and their rents to 
Rory." By this treaty Roderick became a tributary king, but only two kings of the Irish pen- 
tarchy, and three of the principal cities, were exempted from his jurisdiction, and we shall find 
his descendants, as well as those of the king of Thomond, exercising their sovereignty to a late 
period in the history of Ireland. In the some council Henry appointed an Irishman named 
Augustin to the bishopric of Waterford, and sent him to Ireland to be consecrated by Donatus, 
bishop of Cashel. At this period the following were the chief divisions of Ireland. Desmond, 
under the Mac Carthys ; Thomond under the O'Briens ; Hy Kinselagh, or Leinster, under the 
Hy Kinsallagh line of Mahons ; the South Hy Niall under the Clan Colmans, otherwise the 
O'Malachlins ; the North Hy Niall under the O'Neills and O'Donnells, who had not yet submitted 
to the English ; and Hy Brune, together with Hy Fiacra, otherwise Connaught, under the 
O'Connors. A more detailed list of the Irish territories and chiefs is given b}- O'Halloran, which 
may be acceptable to our readers, as containing an account of the principal chieftainries of 
Thomond, at the time when the fatal chain of foreign domination was riveted by the insensate 
divisions between the natives, which the new Lord Paramount, Henry II. knew so well how to 
foment : — 

Alphabetical list of ancient Irish territories in Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary, and by what 
Milesian families possessed, both before and after the invasion of Henry II. 

Aherloe, in the county of Limerick, the estate of a branch of the O'Briens. 

Aine Cliach, in the county of Limerick, the lordship of O'Kirwick. 

Aos-Cliach. extending from Cnoc Greins, to near Limerick, was the patrimony of O'Connell, 
and Castle Connel his chief residence. 

Aradh-Cliach, in the county of Tipperary, near Killaloe, the estate of Mac O'Brien Arad. 
Its first proprietor was O'Donegan, of the Ernian race. 

Ardah, east of Cashel, in the county of Tipperary, the lordship of O'Dea. 

Bally-Hallinan, in the county of Limerieft, the ancient estate of O'Hallinan ; but in later 
times Mac Sheetries [Qu. Mac Sheehies ?J 

Brurigh, a royal mansion in the county of Limerick, the seat of O'Donovan, chief of Kerry. 

Burren, or eastern Corcamroadh, a barony in the county of Clare, the principality of 

Cahir, in the county of Tipperary, the estate of O'Lonargan. 

Cairbre-Aodhbha, now called Kenry, in the county of Limerick, the ancient estates of 
O'Donovan, O'Clerine, and O'Flanery. 

Callain, in the county of Clare, the territory of O'Hehir. 

Carran Fearaidhe, or Cnoc-Aine, in the county of Limerick, the estate of O'Grady. 

Ceil Tanan, in the county of Clare, the estate "of O'Mollony, 

Cineal-Fermaic, in Thomond, the estate of O'Dea. 

Clan-Derla, in the county of Clare, the ancient territory of MacMahon. 

Cleanagh, in the county of Clare, the property of Mac Mahon. 

Cluan Mac Diarmada, in the county of Clare, the estate of the Mac Clanchys, hereditary 
lord justices of Thomond. 

Conal-Gabbra, or Ibh-Conal-Gabhra, the present baronies of Connello, in the county of Lim- 
erick, the ancient territorj- of O'Connell ; but afterwards we find it possessed bj' the O'Kinealies, 
and O'Cuileans, or Collins [and long before the invasion by the O'Tracies and Scanlans]. 

Conuil-Jachtarach, or lower Conella, in the county of Limerick, besides the Cinealies, and 
O'CoHins, we find the O'Sheehans had lordships there.' 


The treaty of Windsor took place in the year before the defeat of the king 
of Thomond. Not long after the latter event Macarthy conferred an extensive 
territory in the county of Kerry upon Maurice, son of Raymond, who became 
powerful by his marriage with the daughter of Milo de Cogan, and gave his 
name to the territory of Clan Morris, and to his descendants of Fitzmaurice 
as represented by the Marquis of Lansdowne.i 

Corafin a territory in the county of Clare, the estate of O'Quinn and O'Heffernan. 
Corca-Bhaisgin, now the Barouy of Moiarta, in the county of Clare, the ancient territory of 
O'Baisen and O'Donal, but for some centuries past the estate of the Mac Mahons of Thomond. 
Corcamruadh, a principality in the county of Clare, the territory of O'Connor-Carcamruadh, 

of the Irian race. . ,, x .i. rutj • 

Cosmach, in the county of Limerick, belonging to a branch of the Briens. 
Cuallachda, in the county of Clare, the patrimony of O'Dubhgin, or Dugin. _ 
Datach, in Thomond, the patrimony of Mac Donnel descendant from Brian Boirumhe. 
Diseart-ui-Deagha, in the county of Clare, the estate of O'Dea. 
Eile-ui-Fhogerta, in the county of Tipperary. the ancient territory of Fogerty. 
Eoganacht-Aine-Cliach, in the county of Limerick, the lordship of Kerwick. 
Eoganacht-Cashel, extended from Cashel to Clonmel ; its prmcipal chief was MacCarthy, 

head of the Eugenian line. j ,, • • • i 

Eoganacht-Graffan, in the county of Tipperary, the lordship of O'Sulhvan ; and their prmcipal 

seat was at Cnoc Graffan on the banks of the Shure. w * n-w ii^,o„ 

Faith-ui-Halluran, extending from TuUa to near Clare m Thomond, the estate of Halloran 

Fearan-Saingil, called Single-Land, but more properly the Land of the Holy Angel, near 
Limerick, the ancient estate of the O'Conuins or Cuneens. .^ n ^ ^. * /^,,c 

Ibh-Fiarach, now called Tuam-ui-Mheara, in the county of Tipperary, the lordship of O Mara. 

Muiccadha, in the county of Limerick, the lordship of Mac Eniry. The remains of_ a large 
monastery, and other public buildings, at Castle Town Mac Eniry, yet bespeak the piety and 
splendor of this family, of which there are scarcely any remams at this day. 

Muin-Tir-Conlachta (I suppose the present Tuam-Greine) in the county Clare, the ancient 

lordship of O'Gra or O'Grady. ,-. , , t rvn +i, 

Muifcridh-Jarrar-Feimhin, near Emly, in the county of Tipperary, the estate of O Carthy. 
Muifcridh-Luachra, near Kilmallock, in the county of Limerick, the estate of \> "ea. 
Ouen-ui-Glearna, now Six Mile Bridge, in the county of Clare, the estate of Kearney. 
Pobul-ui-Brien, now a barony in the county of Limerick, the country of a branch of the 

^ Eath-Ck.nan,'ia the country of Limerick, the estate of O'Casey. The present Viscount Pery, 
enjoys a part of his estate, in right of his great-grandmother, the heu-ess of O Oasey._ _ 
Sliabh-Scott, in the county of Clare, the estate of the Mac Bruodins, hereditary historians of 

North Minister. , „, , , ^i, • j.- 4.x, 

Traidaire, or Tradraighe, now a barony in the county of Clare, before the incarnation, the 

residence of the Clana-Deagha, or Munster Knights, from Daire, the son of Deagha so called, 

and which words import the warriors of Daire. Lord Inchiquin is the present chief of Traidaire. 

Triocha- cead-o-Claisin, the barony of TuUa, in the county of Clare, the estate of MacNamara, 

hereditary lord Marshal of Thomond. 

Tuam-ui-Mhara, in the county of Tipperary, the lordship of Mara. , c,- u, 

Tuaath-Muimhain, North Munster, or Thomond, extended from the isles of Aran to Sliabh 

Eibhline, near Cashell, to Carran Fearaidh, or Knoc Aine, in the county of Limerick ; and from 

Luin na Conor, or Loop Head, to Sliabh Dala, in Ossory ; but in later ages it was circumscribed to 

the present county of Clare, of which the O'Briens are hereditary prmces. 

Tullichrien, in the county of Clare, the estate of O'Gorman. n'TTnl?^n« 

Tuliallaith^e, in the county of Tipperary, the estate of O'Kyan, or O'Mul Uy^n-Offalbran 
1 In the beginning of June 1176, according to Keating (according to others inMay 117/), the 
celebrated Strongbow died at Dublin after a lingering illness, which the native historians as 
usual, describe as a providential visitation for his rapacious tyranny over <=l^p,.^"^;„vi t. 
monument, which is of stone and which has attached a smal broken figure traditionally said to 
be his son, whom he is said to have put to death for cowardice stands at the South wall of the 
nave of Christ Church Cathedral. It is the figure of a stalwart knight, armed cap-a-pee, 
having the legs crossed as usual with crusaders. Money payments, I have heard, used to be 
made upon it heretofore, as on " the nail" in Limerick, and over it appears the following inscrip- 
tion, inserted in a tablet in the wall : — 

and set up agaync at the chargys of the Right Honorable Sir Ilenrie Sydney, Knight of the 
Noble Order, L ; President of Wailcs, L ; Deputy of Irland." 


In the year 1174 the command of the forces was once more given to 
Harvey of Mount Maurice, who recommended Strongbow to join him in an 
expedition against Donnell O^Brien, who, following the example of Macarthy 
in Cork, had wrested the city of Limerick from the English intruders. 
Strongbow called to his assistance the Danes of Dubhn, and Eoderick 
O'Connor advanced into Ormond to repel him, Donnell O'Brien led his brave 
Dalcassians towards Durlas OTogarty (Ehogarty), now Thurles, where they 
gained a complete and signal victory. According to the Norman accounts, 
the Dublin Danes were attacked while overcome by sleep, and slaughtered, 
almost unresistingly, to the number of 400. Ware ascribes the glory of 
this result to Donnell O'Brien, king of Limerick, but he calculates that the 
loss of the English was not so considerable as that here given. 

This diasastrous defeat had such an effect upon Strongbow that he shut 
himself up at Waterford,^ whilst the Irish throughout the country rose up 
in arms. 

In this emergency Strongbow was obliged to have recourse to his old 
friend Eaymond le Gros, whose anger he propitiated by offering him the 
hand of his sister Basilica, together with the offices which had been pre- 
viously refused to him.^ The rapidity and efficiency of Raymond's arrange- 
ments were worthy of his promised reward ; and having hastily collected a 
force of 30 knights, 100 men at arms, and 300 archers, he set out accom- 
panied by Ms fi'iend Meyler, and safely arrived at Waterford, just as the 
Danes were meditating a general massacre of the Enghsh garrison ; which, 
when Strongbow left for Wexford with his new allies, actually took place, 
except such of the garrison as had been left in Eegiaald's Tower, which 
eventually took possession of the town.^ 

During the celebration of the nuptials of Raymond and Basilia de Clare, 
who brought her lord the dowry lands of Fethard, Glascarrig, and Idrone, 
besides the high offices before mentioned, and the territory called after him 
" Grace's County" in the present county of Kilkenny, news arrived of Rode- 
rick's advance to DubHn ; and Raymond hastily marched to Meath, where 
he is said by some to have cut off a few of the retiring forces of Roderick ; 
but the more credible account is, that the undisciplined forces of the Irish, 
who seem to have consisted of raw levies, appear to have been disbanded 
before Raymond arrived. 

Raymond now turned his attention to Limerick, where he had determined 
to revenge the disastrous defeat inflicted upon his father-in-law at Thurles 
by the brave king of Thomond, but where he was warmly received by the 
brave defenders of the walls which hung over the margin of the river, 
although they were obliged eventually to yield to the invaders, who, after 
committing the usual ravages, re-established the English garrison, and with- 
drew with the rest of their forces to Leinster. 

In the twenty-fourth year of Hemy II. (1177), Raymond le Gros alone 
discharged the regal functions in Ireland, and committed the city of Limerick 
to the guardianship of Donald O'Brien, prince of Thomond, who shortly after 
having broken down the southern point of the bridge set fire to the city. 
This was actually witnessed by Raymond le Gros as he departed for Dublin. 

In 1178,'* the interminable feuds of the Eoganachts and Dalgais, desolated 

' According to some authorities in the little Island near Waterford. 

' Giraldus Cambrensis. ' Hibernia Expiig. 24. 

* Annals of Innisfall. 


tlie Avhole province of Munster. Dr. O'Brien, one of the descendants of the 
house of Thomond, supplies us with an account of the part borne in them by 
the O'Briens.' 

The annals of the Four Masters have a curious entry at the year 1180 : — 
" Lorcan O'Toole, i.e., Laurence, archbishop of Leuister and legate of Ireland, 
suffered martyrdom in England/' His death really took place at the monas- 
tery of Eu, in Normandy. He was connected maternally with the house of 
Thomond. His mother, according to the authorities quoted by Ware,^ who 
gives the above anecdote, being Ingen O'Brien, that is, daughter of the 
prince. His father was the youngest son of Murchertach O'Toole, the head 
of the second most powerful house hi Leinster, and at that time lord of Hy- 
Muiraadhaigh, comprising the southern half of KUdare, not of Imaile in Wick- 
low, as Ijanigan and Moore state, though their family did at this time take 
possession of Imaile, which had been previously possessed by O'Teige. Led- 
Wich has curiously and characteristically mistaken Hy-Muiraidhaigh (which 
is called O'Murethi by Giraldus) for O'Moore. We have been thus particular 
about this illustrious man, not merely on account of his connection with the 
kings of Limerick, but of the important part that he played in the history of 
these evil times. 

In the year 1182, the annals of the Four Masters record the treacherous 
murder of Brian, the son of Turlough O'Brien, by Eandal Macnamara Beg. 

In the year 1185, " the son of the king of England, that is, John, the son 
of Henry, came to Ireland with a Heet of sixty ships to assume the govern- 
ment of the kingdom. He took possession of Dublin and Leinster, and 
erected castles at Tipraid-Fachtna and Ardfinan, out of which he plundered 
Munster, but his people were defeated with great slaughter by Donnell O'Brien. 
The son of the king of England then returned to England to complain to his 
father of Hugo de Lacy, who was the king of England's deputy in Ireland on 
his (John's) arrival, and who had prevented the Irish kings from sending 
him (John) either tribute or hostages."^ 

' " A.D. 1178. Donald O'Brien, at the head of the entire Dalcassian tribes, greatly distressed 
and reduced all the Eugenians, laid waste their country with fire and sword, and obliged the dis- 
persed Eugenians to seok for shelter in the woods and fastnesses of Eve-Eachach, on the south of 
the river Lee. In this expedition they routed the O'Donovans of Ive-Figeinte, or Cairbre Aedh- 
bha, in the county of Limerick, and the O'Collins of Ive-Conail Gabhra, or Lower Connello, in 
said county, beyond the mountain of Mangerton, to the western parts of the county of Cork : 
here these two exiled Eugenian families, being powerfully assisted by the O'Mahonys, made new 
settlements for themselves in the antient properties of the O'Donoghues, O'Learys, and O'Dris- 
colls, to which three families the O'Mahonys were always declared enemies to the borders of 
Loughlene, where Auliff Mor O'Donoghue, surnamed Cumsinach, had made some settlements 
before this epoch. 

* Ware's Bishops. 

3 The ruins of the castle, built at Ardfinan, are still to be seen on a rock overhanging the river 
Suir, in the barony of Iffa and Offa, and county of Tipperary, where Cox, Leland and Moore have 
also placed the castle of Tipraid Tachtus. The followers of prince John are described by Giral- 
dus, Hanmer and Campion, in the most uncomplimentary language. Giraldus describes them as 
talkative, boastful, enormous swearers, insolent ; and Campion as " great quaffers, lourdens, 
proud-bellied swaines, fed with extortion and bribery." — IlUtor!/ of Ireland. 

In the year 1188 we find the following entries in the Annals of the Four Masters: — " Ed- 
wina, the daughter of O'Quin and Queen of Munster, died on her pilgrimage at Derry, victorious 
over the world and the devU.'' This lady was daughter of O'Quin, chief of Munster-Iffernan, in 
Thomond,* now represented by the Earl of Dunraven. " John de Courcy and the English of Ire- 
land made an incursion into Connaught, accompanied by Connor O'Dermot ; upon which Connor 
Moinmoy, King of Connaught, assembled all the chieftains of Connaught, who were joined by 
Donnell O'Brien, at the head of some of the men of Munster." — innals of the Four Masttis. 

* The O'Quins and O'Deas were the chief families in the district called from the latter, Dysert 
O'Dea. — See Bishop O'Dea's Life in the Ecclesiastical pari. 


In 1192, the English settlers in Leinster, taking advantage of the quarrels 
between the sons of Roderick O'Connor, wasted the territory of Thomond, 
but they suffered severely for their temerity. In the year 1193, say the an- 
nals of the Four Masters, " the English of Leinster committed great depre- 
dations against Donnell O'Brien. They pursued over the. plains of KiUaloe, 
and du'ected their course westwards, until they had reached a plain near the 
Shannon, in the parish of Killaloe, in the east of the county Clare, where 
they were opposed by the Dalcassians, who slew a great number of them. In 
this expedition the English erected the castles of Kilfeacle (about four and 
a-haLf miles to the east of the town of Tipperary), and Knockgraffon (about 
two miles to the north of the town of Cahir). DonneU O'Brien defeated the 
English of Ossory and made a great slaughter of them."' 

The neighbom'hood of Thurles Avas the scene of two defeats of the English 
by the brave king of Thomond.^ 

At this period, no doubt by Enghsh influence, the see of Killaloe was 
united to Eoscrea, or Eile, and to the celebrated see of Inniscattery, or Scat- 
tery Island.^ The death of Aedh or Hugh O'Beaghan, last bishop of Innis- 
cattery, is set down in the annals of the Four Masters at 1188, and that of 
the last bishop of Eile and Eoscrea, namely, of Isaac O'Cuainan, at 1161. 
The see of Inniscattery extended to both sides of the estuary.'* 

* A memorial of these defeats of the English still remains in " The Graves of the Leinster 
Men," which are situated in the barony of Owney and Arra, not far distant from the Corbally 
Slate Quarries, about two miles N.E. of Derry Castle House, and in the valley that lies between 
Thoum-Thinna (the Wave of Fire) mountain and the high lands behind Derry, Ryninch, Castle- 
town, &c., &c. These graves are marked on the Ordnance Survey Map of L-eland, so remarkable 
and historic are they. The view from the graves is grand and beautiful, embracing the Shannon 
for several miles, the Holy Islands (Inniscailthra), Scariff Bay, and a great part of Tipperary and 
Connaught. The people look upon these ancient depositaries of the remains of the invaders with 
unaccountable veneration or rather superstition. It is only lately that the bones of the occupant 
of one of the graves were disturbed during some drainage operations, when the peasantry declared 
they discovered a number of supernatural footprints near the resting places of these venerable 
warriors, and on the margin of a certain reservoir which was formed on the side of the moun- 
tain to drive a wheel. The wanton destruction of one of the graves, some time before, had 
occasioned great indignation among the people. In the j'ear 1194, the annals record the death of 
the illustrious Donaldmore, king of Thomond, in the following language : — " Donnell, son of 
Turlough O'Brien, king of Munster, a beaming lamp in peace and war, and the brilliant star of 
the hospitality and valour of the Momonians and of all Leth-Mogha, died, and Murtagh, his son, 
assumed his place.'' — Annals of the Four Masters. 

* The Four Masters mention that in A.D. 1213, O'Donnell having, in pursuit of Muireqgh 
O'Daly, plundered and laid waste Thomond. followed him to the gates of Limerick, and pitching 
Lis camp at Moin-ui Donnell (O'Donnell's marsh, so-called from that circumstance), laid siege to 
the city, upon which the inhabitants, at the command of O'Donnell, expelled Muireagh. — Annals 
of the Four Masters. 

We find the following entry in the Annals of Clonmacnoise for the year 1216: — " Geoffry 
^larche (De Marisco) founded a castle at Killaloe and forced the inhabitants to receive an Eng- 
lish bishop." The name of this bishop was Robert Travers. He was afterwards deprived (in 
1221), and until the time of the Reformation the see continued to be tilled almost exclusively by 
Irishmen, there having been but one Englishman, Robert de Mulfield, who succeeded in 1409. — 
f Harris's ]Va7-e, vol. 1, pp. 521-593. 

3 Usher's Primordia, 873. 

* Sir J. Ware, in his history of Irish bishops, gives the following account of the bishops and 
abbots of Inniscattery : — " Nor ought it to be forgotten, that the bishopricks of Limerick and Inis- 
Catay, or the Island of Gata (the Cat or Monster, which St. Senan is said to have banished), 
were united about the end of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth century. [But, accord- 
ing to Ussher, the possessions of it are divided between the sees of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert.] 

" We shall here take occasion to mention what occurs in ancient monuments, concerning the see 
of Inis-Catay. It is said to have been founded by St. Patrick about the middle of the fifth cen- 
t;iry, and to be governed by him for some time, whom St. Senan succeeded ; to which alludes the 
passage before cited, p. 34, where St. Patrick is introduced prophesying that Senan, not then 
born, should be his successor. The prelates of this Church are sometimes called bishops and 
sometimes abbots ; and there are very few traces to be met with, concerning them, in antient 
writers ; the following are all 1 can collect : — 


The last days of Donogh Cairbreagh O^Brien, were chiefly occupied with 
conflicts with the chiefs of Comiaught and their alHes^ the supporters of the 
sons of Roderick O^Connor^ against their cousins, the sons of Cathal Crovderg 
or the Red-handed O^Connor, and nephews of CBrien. The death of Cair- 
breagh took place in 1242. He was succeeded by his son, Connor na Sui- 
dane, the founder of the monastery of Corcomroe, in which his tomb and 
effigy are still preserved. Cairbreagh O^Brien was only the chief of the Dal- 
cassians, not king of Munster. He was the first that took the title of The 

The next events of the history of the princes of Thomond, are well con- 
densed by Professor O'Curry, from the valuable Irish tract called " The His- 
tory of the Wars of Thomond.'''' The natural feelings of the worthy professor 
are characteristically expressed in the following quotation : — 

"The Anglo-Norman power which came into the country in the year 1172, 
had constantly gained ground ; generation after generation, as you are of 
course aware, in consequence chiefly of the mutual jealousies and isolated 
opposition of the individual chiefs and clans among the Gaedluls. At last 
the two great sections of the country, the races of the north and the south, 
resolved to take counsel and select some brave man of either of the ancient 
royal houses to be elevated to the chief command of the whole nation, in 
order that its power and efficiency might be the more effectually concentrated 
and brought into action against the common enemy. To this end then, a 
convention was arranged to take place between Brian O'Neill, the greatest 
leader of the north at this time, and Tadhg, the son of Conor O'Brien, at 
Caeluisge [Narrow Water], on Loch Erne (near the present Castle Calwell). 
O'Neill came attended by aU the chiefs of the north and a numerous force of 
armed men. O'Brien, though in his father's Hfetime, went thither at the 
head of the Munster and Connaught chiefs and a large body of men in arms. 
The great chiefs came face to face at either bank of the Narrow Water, but 
their old destiny accompanied them, and each came to the convention fully 

" St. Serian, bishop and abbot of Inis-Cathaj', was born in Carko-Baskind, a maritime territory 
in the county of Clare, and was descended by his father Ergindus, from Conair, the lirst king of 
Ireland. His mother's name was Comgella, of a Munster family also. He received his first ru- 
diments and the monastic habit from the abbot Cassidanus, and was afterwards a disciple to Na- 
talia, abbot of Kilmanach, in Ossory, and then to St. David, bishop of Menevia, in AYales. Re- 
turning to Ireland, he fomided many monasteries in several parts of Munster, and at last fixed 
his seat at InissCathay. He died on the first of March, 544, the same daj' and year with St. 
David beforementioned, and was buried in his own monastery at Inis-Cathay. Colgann hath 
published his life in Latin verse out of the antient book of Kilkenny ; to which he hath added a 
supplement in prose from an Irish manuscript. To these I refer such readers who are desirous of 
knowing more of St. Senan." So far AVare who gives the following list : — 

Odran, bishop of Inis-Cathay, was the disciple and immediate successor of St. Senan. He 
flourished about the year 580. 

Aidin, bishop of Inis-Cathay, as mentioned in the martyrology of Marian Gorman, and his fes- 
tival observed on the 31st of August. 

Another Aidin, abbot of Inis-Cathey, died in 861. 

Flathbert, abbot of Inis-Cathay, and afterwards king of Munster after Cormac Mac Culenan, 
died in 940. He was the great fomentor and firebrand of that war in which Cormac lost his life. 

Colla, abbot and doctor or master of Inis-Cathaj', died in 994. 

0-Biu-gus, Comorban of Inis-Cathay, died in 1081. 

Aid 0-Beachain, bishop of Inis-Cathay, died in 1138, and soon after his death the see of Inis- 
Cathay was united to that of Limerick. 

It was in the reign and by command of Cairbreach (so called because he had been fostered in 
Carbery), that the building of the beautiful Franciscan Abbey of Ennis was commenced. It was 
finished by his son and successor, Conor na Siudaine, and it is frequently referred to in the an- 
nals. A short time previously to the commencement of the work, Donogh Cairbreagh had 
removed his residence to Clonbroad. 


fletermined that himself alone should be the chosen leader and king of Erinn. 
The convention was^ as might be expected a failure ; and the respective par- 
ties returned home more di^dded^ more jealous, and less powerful than ever to 
advance the general interests of their country, and to crush, as united they 
might easily have done, that crafty, unscrupulous, and treacherous foe, which 
contrived then and for centuries after to rule over the clans of Erinn, by 
taking advantage of those dissensions among them, which the stranger always 
found means but too readily to foment and to perpetuate. 

'"'' This convention or meeting of O^Brien and O^Neill took place in the 
year 1258, according to the annals of the Eoui* Masters; and in the year 
1259, Tadhg O^Brien died. In the year after that again, that is, 1260, Brian 
O^Neill himself was killed in the battle of Down Patrick, by John de Courcy 
and his followers. 

" The premature death of Tadhg O'Brien so preyed up on his father, that 
for a considerable time he forgot altogether the duties of his position and the 
general interests of his people. This state of supineness encoui'aged some of 
his subordinate chiefs to withhold from him his lawful tributes. 

" Among these insubordinates was the O'Lochlainn of Burren, whose con- 
tumacy at length roused the old chief to action; and in the year 1267 he 
marched into 0'Lochlainn''s country, as far as the wood of Siubhdaineach, in 
the north-west of Burren. Here the chief was met by the O'Lochlainns and 
their adherents, and a battle ensued in which O'Brien was killed and his army 
routed ; and hence he has been ever since known in history as Conchubhar na 
Suibhdaine, or Conor of Suibhdaineach." 



The introduction of the EngHsh government into Lnnerick did not take 
place until the death of Donald O'Brien. John, Earl of Morton and Lord 
of Ireland showed great zeal and determination in estabhshing the English 
interest in the city. He granted a charter on the 19th of December, 1197, 
the 9th of Eichard I.,^ by which he extended to the city, the privileges 

' We translate from the Arthur MSS. the following. [Fitzgerald gives only the recitation of 
an abstract of John's second charter] : — 

True Copy of the first Royal Charter granted to Limerick hi/ John, Lord of Ireland, cfr. 

John, Lord of Ireland, Earl of Morton, to the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Barons, 
Justiciaries, Bailiffs, and to all his servants and faithful subjects of all Ireland, greeting; Know 
ye that we have given, and by this charter confirmed, for us and our heirs, unto the citizens of 
Limerick, that they and their heirs do have and hold the City of Limerick, with all the appurts. 
and burgages, internal and external, to the City appertaining, in fee firm, by the return which 
was appointed by Hamond de Valois, with pleas and aiguists, and that they have all the liberties 
and free customs through all Ireland which the citizens of Dublin have ; Wherefore we will and 
firmly prescribe, that our citizens of Limerick and their heirs after them do have and hold all 
the liberties and free customs aforesaid and as presented. For the rest, know ye that [we hold 
as] ratified and well pleasing, and established for ever, the deliverances [liberatioTies'] of burgages, 
with all the liberties and prescriptions which Hamond de Valois made in the city of Limerick as 
he let the aforesaid burgages to my citizens of the same city. 

[Whereof] These are Witnesses, Hugo de Valois, 

KiCHAKD DE Force, 


Killaloe, I8th day of December, in the Wi year of 
tlte reign of King Richard [A.L. 1197-'8]. 


already granted to Dublin, enabling tbe citizens to choose a Mayor and Duum- 
viri, or two Bailiffs, a designation by wMcb they were named until the 
reign of James I., when by charter of that monarch, the citizens were allowed 
to choose Sheriffs in place of Baihffs, etc. — these, with the mayor, performed 
the municipal government of the city. In 1198, however, the EngHsh were 
driven out of Limerick by M''Carthy of Desmond ; but soon after they may 
be said to have held firm possession, though their tenure was frequently 
disputed. We have on record as to the exact time the walls of the city were 
first built ; but from the Patent roUs, in the early portion of king John's 
reign, we find that the city was at that period surrounded by walls, and that 
the king made several grants to his followers witliin and without the walls.' 
In the same year he gave to Hamo de Valois, two cantreds of " Hoche- 
vele" in the Land of Limerick for the service of ten knights, (Char. Eol, 
82). On the 12th of January, 1200, he granted to William of Braosa the 
honor of Limeiick, with its appurtenances, &c. This charter was given at 
Lincoln, and bears the signatures, as witnesses, H, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury ; R, Bishop of St. Andrew's ; R, Earl of Chester ; R, Earl of Leicester ; 
G. Eitzalen, Earl of Essex; William Briwerr, Hubart Bard, Walter de Lascy ; 
Simon Pateshill. It states that it (the charter) was given by the hand of 
Symou, Archdeacon of Wells, at Lincoln, granting and confirming to Braosa 
the honour of Lymerick, Avith all its appui'tenances "retaining in our demesne 
the city of Lymerick and the Bishopricks and Abbeys, and retainuig in our 

• In the second year of his reign the king gave to Galfridus Fitzrobert one burgage* below 
(within?) the walls of Limerick, to be held by free service 12d. ; and granted and confirmed to 
the same for homage and service, five knight's fees,t at Radagar, in the Cantred of Huhene, to 
be held of one and one-third knight's fees — Charter Role A°. 1°, Rotulo 14 and 15. In the same 
year he gave to Robert Sergeant four burgages, of which two are without the city of Limerick, 
between the city and the bridge, whatever part of the bridge is next the wall, and two in the 
island towards the city, near the bridge, wherever the bridge may be, for the service of 4s. per 
an., and he granted unto the same for his homage and service a knight's fee at Clonhulugrdachan 
and Cloinonochain, in the " theudum"J of Huertherain, to be held by the third part of one 
knight's fee, Hamo de Valentia being the justiciary of Ireland. — Charter Roles 78. In the same 
year he gave to Humphrey de Pykeuile, one burgage below the walls of Limerick, for the service 
of 12d. per annum ; and he gave and confirmed to the same for his homage and service Killeru- 
manith, three kniglit's fees circumjacent for all service, for the service of one knight. — Charter 
Role 75. In the same year he gave Lauvelekin Fitzwilliam one burgage below the walls of Limerick, 
for (per) the service of 12d. per ann. and five knight's fees, at Insculin and Balieder, Baioni, 
Corbally, Cullen, Odergraper, Ballydermot, in tbe Cantred of Huhene, to be held by the service 
of one knight and two parts. — Charter Role 79. In the same year he gave to Wm. de Naish one 
burgage in Limerick through the service of 12d. per ann. and the castles of Kava Kittel, with a 
fee of five knights in the nearer place of that castle, in the " theudum" of Lirickmadh, in the 
Cantred of Huhene, held by the service of one knight's fee and two parts. — Role 81. In the 
same year he gave to Thomas, the son of Maurice, one burgage next the bridge, on the left hand 
side towards the north, through the service of 12d. per ann. and five knight's fees, in the " theu- 
dum" of Blenrii (or Olweii, or as I rather think Kenry), in the Cantred of Fontimell, and five 
knight's fees, in the theudum of Huanarach, which is in Thomond, beyond the water of the 
Shannon, to be held by the service of three knight's fee and one third. — Charter Role 82. 

* Tenure in burgage is where the king or other person is lord of an ancient borough in which 
the tenants are held by a rent certain. It is a kind of lorage. — Lyt. II., § 162, 163. 

t A Knight's Fee, Feudmn militare, is so much inheritance as is suificient yearly to maintain 
a knight, with convenient revenue; and in Henry Ill.'s days was £15 (Camden's Brit. p. Ill), 
in the time of Edward II. £20 ; a knight's fee contained 12 plough lands, or 5 hides, or 480 
acres. Selden, however, says the knight's fee had no reference to land, but to the services or 
number of the knights reserved. — Tomlins Law Diet. Stowe, in his Annals (p. 285) saj-s there 
were found in England at the time of the Conqueror 60,211 knight's fees, according to others 
60,215, whereof the religious houses before their suppression were possessed of 28,015. 

'\, The word " Theudum,''^ means a fief, most probably one of five knight's fees, which was ex- 
pressed by the word Toth, In the Celtic mythology the word Toth meant the genius Loci, 


iiand the cantred of the Ostmen and the Holy Island, as king Henry, onr 
father, that honour gave to Philip de Braosa, uncle of the aforesaid William" 
— " to have and to hold to him and his heirs of us and our heirs by the 
service of sixty knights, except the service of William de Burgo/ of all his 
lands and tenements aforesaid honours to be held, &c., &c.; and we have 
retained in our demesne and hand all its appurts in wood and plain, in meadoAV 
and pastures, in water and mills and fish ponds and ponds and fisheries 
and ponds, in ways and pathways, &c" 

King John, (says Giraldus Cambrensis,) gave to Philip de Braosa the 
northern division of Munster, namely, the whole kingdom of Limerick, 
except the city itself, and the cantred belonging to it. At the same time he 
gave the kingdom of Cork to Cogan and Fitz Stephen. So these three chiefs 
made a strict mutual alHance, and having obtained possession of Lismore, 
and of the greater part of Cork, namely, seven cantreds near the city, each 
containing 100 townlands, they proceeded to Limerick. Their army con- 
sisted of seventy men-at-arms, one hundred and fifty horse soldiers, and the 
proper complement of bowmen. But when they reached Limerick, the 
citizens set the town on fire. Cogan and Fitz Stephen proposed to ford the 
Shannon and storm the place. But Braosa proved wanting in courage and 
returned home. 

He after^'ards endeavoured to rehabilitate his character for bravery by 
joining in the crusades, and appears to have died in the Holy Land, when 
his rights, such as they were, to the kingdom of Limerick passed to his 
nephew, William de Braosa. But we learn from Dugdale (Baronage I. 415) 
that kuig John sold Braosa^s lands in Ireland to Plulip de Wygornia, (or 
Worcester,) Lord Deputy in 1184, for five hundred marks. In 1300, how- 
ever, the unprincipled monarch, resold Wygovnia^s lands, and those of 
Theobald Fitz Walter, ancestor of the Ormonde family, to W'illiam de Braosa, 
for 5,000 marks, and 5,000 marks more for the kingdom of Lunerick, (see 
the charters of king John, aimo 2, and Dugdale, L, 416.) ^ Fitz Walter 
repurchased his own estate for 500 marks, through the mediation of his 
brother Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, (see Eoger de Hoveden, II., 
513,) whilst Wygornia, says that author, "with difficulty escaping from the 
hands of the king, retui-ned to Ireland, passing through the territories of the 
king of Scots, and recovered parts of his lands by waging war against the 
king." The kingdom of Limerick he had never had possession of, so did 
not probably now obtain it. But he seized on his former estates, chiefly in 
Tipperary, and held them by force : and his heirs still held lands there by 
knights* service in 1314, (Carew MSS.) The unfortunate Braosa was unable 
to pay the instalments due to the rapacious king John ; he was fiercely 

• 1201, King John granted to William de Burgo 5 Knigbts' fees, called a Toth, wherein is 
seated Castle Connell, within 4 miles of Limerick, east, provided he fortified the castle, and was to 
restore it to the king if demanded, by getting a reasonable exchange for it. — Ware. 

* In Pat. Roll. Mem. 23, No. 203, the grant to William de Braosa is set forth — " quae retinuimus 
in Dominico nostro, habenda donee Kegi placuerit." 

In the 4th year of his reign a mandate was issued by the king to Philip de Wigorne, or Wor- 
cester, "that he should render to William de Braosa the land and castles of Orngraffan, and 
other castles of the Honour of Limerick, which are retained by the king according to con%'ention, 
—Pat. Roll, Mem. 10. 

In the 6th year of John's reign Limerick was taken from William de Braosa by advice of the 
Barons of England, " for the peace of the kingdom." — Pat. Roll, Mem. 7. 

Wigornia, according to Dugdale's Monasticon, was Constable of Ireland. Wm. and Roger de 
Wigornia gave Sidan, Skhevin, Kilstevenan, &c., in Ireland, to the Monastery of Osney, near 
Oxford. Confirmed 28th Feb. An. 13 Edward l.—Dvrjdalc's Monas An<jU. 




persecuted by him^ was driven from all his estates, and died a penniless exile, 
wliilst the spiteful monarch wreaked his vengeance on his wife and son, who 
were starved to death, A.D. 1211, (see Dugdale as before.) 

Captivated, as we have seen, with the beauty of Limerick, the King 
caused a singularly choice castle, " egregium castellum,^'' and bridge to be 
built. 1 In that age the Annals refer to the erection of two bridges over the 
Shannon, and one over the Suck, by the monarch Turlough O'Connor. 
There is no doubt those bridges were not of stone, but of wood, and that 
the first structures of the kind of stone were erected by, or after the arrival 
of the Anglo-Normans. 2 King John's bridge was perfectly level, crossing 
4he main arm of the Shannon, from the N.E. extremity of the English town, 
close by the Castle ; it was built on fourteen arches, under each of which 
some marks of the hurdles, on which it was erected, were visible until the 
bridge was taken down in the year 1838, and the present structure was built. 
According to tradition the cost of the building of Thomond bridge was but 
£30.^ Immediately above the bridge a ledge of rocks crosses the river, over 
which one can walk with perfect safety at low water. 

The " Egregium CasteUum" continues to our own time to be one of the 
finest specimens of fortified Norman architecture in Ireland. The north-west 
tower is said to have been the first portion of the work that was erected. 
Nenagh Castle is said to have been built at the same time ; it too, is a noble 
military building in the Norman style. A Constable was immediately ap- 
pointed to it by the King. The Castle is now used as an Ordnance store, 

• Stanihurst. 2 Dr. Petrie in the Dublin Penny Journal. 

3 In King John's time the pay of a foot soldier, which was more than a labourer's hire, was 
three halfpence a day. The small cost of the building of Thomond Bridge need not surprise us. 
In king John's time and under the Edwards, land was granted in Ireland, by carucates. A carucate 
was 140 great acres on an average and was taxed as chattels worth £6. 

This venerable bridge was taken down in 1838 by the old Corporation, and in two years after- 
wards, viz. in 1840, the present structure was built, and open for traffic. Though the old 
Corporation built the new bridge, and gave credit to themselves for doing so, the amount of the 
contract, a sinn of £9000, was paid by the new or Reformed Corporation for this work. 

The new bridge bears the following inscription : — 



Mr. John Long, the eminent civil Engineer, who built the new bridge over the Shannon at 
Athlone, and the new docks at Limerick, communicates to us his opinion, that the early bridges 
were chiefly of wicker work, no doubt very frail and imperfect, and for this reason easily de- 
stroyed ; the notes in the Four Masters will fortifj' this opinion. Afterwards stone arches were 
turned over wicker centres ; but they form two distinct periods of bridge building. Until recently 
one of these wicker bridges stood over the Shannon above Carrick-on-Shannon, and Mr. Long 
says he has often crossed it. It was built of loose stone piers, such as a common labourer 
would build, placed close to each other ; some rough black oak logs thrown across from pier to 
pier, and these covered with wicker work in several layers, and gravel, &c. strewn on these. It 
was very frail, and the horse was unyoked from the cart, and the latter pulled across by men. 
This, he thinks, was the character of all the early bridges across the Shannon before stone struc- 
tures were erected, which he btlieves were not adopted until about Elizabeth's reigo. 

Vid. fol. 50-51. 

Old Thomond Bridge, King John's Castle, and St. Mary's Cathedral. 

{Engraved for Maurice Lenihan's History of Limerick.'] 



he, and in the ground within the walls and towers^ an excellent Infantry 
Barracks for four hundred soldiers was erected in 1751. The number of 
English settlers now began to increase rapidly; and the introduction of English 
habits, customs, dress, &c. kept pace with the numbers of the new inhabitants. 
Outside the Avails many English families also estabhshed themselves.* 

The politic John was resolved to keep on the best terms with the Bishop 
and Church of Limerick after he had obtained a firm footing within the city. 
The question of building the Castle and other fortifications, and of strength- 
ening himself as much as possible, was paramount with him ; but he was 
resolved to do so, not at the expense of the Church, by any encroachment 
whatever on the domains of the Bishop of Saint Mary^s Church in Limerick. 
It would appear that certain of his partizans had begun to occupy some of 
the church lands in their zeal to erect the Castle and fortifications ; but the 
King, before 1207, issued a prohibition against the slightest encroachment 
on the church properties, and in earnest and emphatic language warned, in 
a letter still extant,^ and addressed to his justices, bailiffs, barons, soldiers, 
and all his faithful subjects, in France, England, and Ireland_, telling them 
that the rights of his venerable father in Chiist, D. the Bishop of Limerick, 
should be strictly guarded, in reference to the contemj)lated Castle, and the 
other muniments and fortifications, and that nothing whatever should be 
done to interfere with the church property until his arrival in Ireland, when 
he expressed his determination to see the Bishop fully satisfied in every thing 
connected with the projected fortifications. The King fm'nished the Castle 
with every requisite for the defence of his newly acquired city. He not only 
placed constables vrithin its waUs,^ whom he invested with authority, but he 

' Among the possessors of land in the county of Limerick in the thirteentli century, the 
following names appear: — Bagod or Baggot, a companion of Strongbow was the founder of the 
Bagot family now represented byThomas Neville Bagott, Esq. of Ballymoe, county Galwaj'; Patrick 
Bagott, Esq., of Bagottstown Castle, county Limerick, m. in 1540, Maria, daughter of J. Edmond 
O'Dwyer, Esq., of Kilnemanagh, county Tipperary : nine Bagots were attainted and their estates 
confiscated in Carlow and Limerick, in the wars of James H. — a portion of the family escorted 
king James to France : — Bonerv3'le, Brown, Butler, Fitzgerald, Sir Thomas de Clifford, Sir 
David de Eupe or Koche, Naish, Maunsell and Pierrepoint. Walter Maunsell was chief sergeant 
of the county of Limerick in the reign of Edward the first. Of the early settlers in the city, tha 
following are the names of those that survive in our day : — White, Barrett, Long, Naish, O'Neill, 
O'Noonan, Sergeant, Young, Dundon, Russell, Flandr, Hallanan, and Purcell. Judging from thg 
municipal roll of the thirteenth century, of which not many names have come down to us, there 
appears to have been a mixture of Welsh, Normans, Spaniards, English and Italians. See Sir 
Bernard Burke's Landed Gentry. 

The name of Robert Bagod occurs very frequently in the sales and settlements of land, &c., 
that were made during the episcopacy of Gilbert, Bishop of Limerick, whose transactions in thia 
respect were very numerous, as appears by the Black Book. Maurice Bagott of Baggotstown 
was one of those who were excepted from pardon by the cruel and merciless Ireton, when he 
obtained possession of Limerick in IGjI, through the treachery of Fennel, as will appear more 
fully in the proper place. Many of the Bagott family have continued Catholics, and are allied 
to some of the first Catholic families in Ireland. 

2 Black Book of Limerick. 

3 Godfrey de Rupe or Roche was constable of the Castle of Limerick in the year 1216.~ 
Arthur JiJSS. 

Before the regular list of these begins, there are scattered notices to be found of the constables 
of the Castle of Limerick. — See Liber Munerum Hib. 

Thomas FizHugh de Lees was constable at a fee of ten marks, temp. Edward II. 

He was succeeded by Thomas de Winchester, (Patent 28th Maj% 1326.) He had a warrant in 
the following July for £20 to repair the buildings and walls of the Castle — then in a very bad 
state of repair. And in October of that year £80 more was granted to him and John le Blound, 
Mayor of Loierick, for the same purpose. 

William de Swynford was constable in 1335. 

Peter de O'Kebournam in 1343. 

John Corbet in 1372. 

52 UlSIOliY OF LlMEllICK. 

took care to provide it with chaplains. These succeeded each other, as re- 
moval or other causes created a vacancy in the office ; and on one occasion we 
hnd Geoffrey de Mareys, Lord Justiciary of Ireland, on the part of his royal 
master, making a presentation to the chaplaincy of the King^s Castle, 
of Thomas in the place of Andrew, who had either died, or been placed in 
some other position.^ The church lands were extensive, the constant dealings 
with them, the employment they gave the Courts in Dublin, as well as in 
Limerick, are shown in the records that have come down to us, and of which 
the Black Book contains a considerable number. In 1£17 a mint was 
established in Limerick. ^ In 1222 regulations were made concerning the 
Corporation, which has been recognised by Act of ParHament as a Corpo- 

James Earl of Desmond was made constable for life by Patent 23rd August 1423 — with leave 
to execute the Office by Deputy — and inasmuch as " the ancient fees for the custody of the 
Castle were for the most part annihilated, and the Castle become so ruinous, that the greater 
part of it was fallen to the ground," he was given £10 for the repair of the Castle, as well as 
forty marks out of the profits of the Lexwer (Laxweir), while he should occupy the office- 
twenty marks more, out of the profits of these weirs, were granted to him for five years in 1424. 

Sixty marks a year was a large sum in those days — so the Laxweir fishery must have been a 
very rich one to pay it. 

The earliest constables named by Lodge, in his list of patentee officers, are — 

Sir Wm. Wyse, Knt., Esquire of the King's Body, appointed bj' Hen. VIIL Constable for life, 
with £10 a year fee, the king's island and the king's fisheries there, called the " Leixs Waj-res." 
The £10 payable out of the fee farm of the said city, 2oth Feb., 1523. 

On his resignation, his son, Andrew Wyse, was appointed, 7th June, 1551. 

Richard Chichester succeeded on the death of Wyse. He resigned, and was succeeded by 

Hercules Rainsford, 

Andrew Creagh, 

James Spencer, 

Robert Longe, and 

John Bleake. After which Chichester was again appointed, by a new patent, 16th Sept. 1588. 

Bleake, however, recovered the appointment by patent of 14th AprU, 1590, and held it for life. 

John Dannet succeeded, 29th Mar. 1597. Capt. Francis Berkeley succeeded on his death soon 
after, the Patent (given '' free from the seal, because he is son-in-law to the Lord Chancellor") 
being dated 2nd Nov. 1597. This was Sir F. Berkeley of Askeyton, who was knighted at Kil- 
mallock two years after by the Earl of Essex, and whose estates eventually devolved on his 
daughters, of -whom one married Mr. Courtenay, of Powderham Castle, and another Mr. Taylor, 
of Ballynort, from whom the Massy and Westropp families are descended. The Lord Chancellor, 
to whom he was son-in-law, was Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin. 

George Blundell obtained a reversion of Sir Francis Berkeley's patent, 13th May, 1608, but 
Maurice, son to Sir Francis, got him to surrender it, and had a patent accordingly, 8th June, 1610, 

George Courtenay succeeded his brother-in-law. Sir Maurice Berkeley, as Constable of the 
Castle by patent, 18th Sept. 1622 : and the reversion of the office was granted to Roger, Earl of 
Orrery, on whose death Murrough, Viscount Blessington, became Constable in 1679. 

Sir Wm. King, Knt. (of Kilpeacon ?) succeeded in 1692, but surrendering the office in 1700, 
it was granted to Brigadier-General Richard Ingoldsby. 

George, Lord Carbery, succeeded as Constable on the death of Ingoldsby in 1714, and though 
displaced on the accession of George II., when the office was conferred on Sir Standlsh Hartstonge, 
Baronet, of Bruff, he was restored to it in 1 739. 

Thomas, second Lord Southwell, succeeded Lord Carbery, on that nobleman's death in 1749. 

On liis deatli, the office was granted to Edward Stopford, Esq., by patent, 20'th Sept. 1780, 
and he held it f(jr life. 

2nd January, 1795, tlie Constableship, vacant by his death, was given to the Hon. William 
Cockayne ; and he held it until his demise in 1809. 

The Right Hon Colonel Vereker, afterwards second Viscount Gort, the last Constable of the 
Castle of Limerick, was nominated bj' patent, 18th Nov. 1809, and died 11th Nov. 1842, when 
that feudal office, prospectively abolished by Act of Parliament, ceased to exist. 

The Hon. William Cockayne was Constable of the Castle in 1799, when a grant was made to 
him and his successors for 99 \^ears, of the King's Island, Limerick. — See Patent, 8th July, 1799. 

He died in ltt09, and was succeeded by Colonel Charles Vereker, afterwards second Viscount 
"Gort, iu whose lii'etime this ancient office was abolished, and the King's Island taken back into 
the posses.sion of tlie Crown. 

' The Black Book ot Limerick. » Smith's MSS. in R.I. A. 


ration by prescription, i In 1237 a toll was granted for the purpose of en- 
closing the city -with a wall ; and throughout these and subsequent years 
church affairs, which are noticed in their proper place, appear to have occupied 
the largest share of pubhc attention. Some of the chui'ches were estaljhshed ; 
the concerns of the fisheries and the miUs became of much importance, 
owing to the large receipts from those sources of revenue and profit. The 
fishermen must have enjoyed no smaU share of opnlence for the time, because 
we find in some of the oldest documents reference made to the houses in 
wliich they lived, as marks or boundaries of property bequeathed or granted.^ 
The increasing importance of the city in 1385, induced Edward I. to grant 
a charter to the citizens, empowering the freemen of the Coi-poration to 
meet wdthin their Common Court within the city, and there make bye-laws 
and regulations for their internal government. Grants by royal hands were 
given to the Dominican and Franciscan friaries ; and though Galway had 
advanced more in comonerce, the progress of Limerick, in other respects, was 
fully on a par with its ancient rival, while the beqnests of land, &c. to the 
Church, surpassed any thing of which we have a record in other parts of Ireland. 

Out of the rents of the city John assig-ned £100 to the Archbishop of 
Cashel, in discharge of a sum of money due by him to that prelate. 

The growth of Enghsh customs and habits was now becoming stronger 
every succeeding year. The names which were in the records of the city, 
ci\nl and ecclesiastical, are for the greater part En^jlish. The fisheries, as 
we have stated, were constantly occup)dng pubhc attention ; many inquisitions 
were held in reference to the tithes of rival claimants ; and on the 25th of 
July, 1225, a solemn enquiry, on a novel issue regarding them, was held 
before the Archbishop of Cashel, the Bishops of Emly, Killaloe, Eoss, Lis- 
more, &c. as to whether the tithes of the fishery and of the mills of Limerick, 
and of the land of Dromin, were vested in the Treasurer of the Cathedral 
Church of St. Mary's, or in the Chaplain of the King^s Castle, before the 
barons waged war against King John ; the result of the enquiry was given in 
favor of the Treasurer.' Contemporary authorities assure us that, in the 
midst of these proceedings, the people were greatly troubled with singular 
apprehensions. Extraordinary fears occupied their imaginations and Adsions, 
which we must attribute more to their comparative ignorance than to reality, 
constantly terrified them.* The following events occurred in the reign of John. 

On the 30th of August, 1205, a writ was issued to the Lord Justice, 
commanding him to build a strong Castle at Dublin, to defend that city and 
to preserve the King^s treasure ; and on the 2nd of November following, the 
King by Writ commanded Walter de Lacy to put Limerick into the hands 
of the Lord Justice, because without it he could not keep the peace in Cork 
or Connaught.^ In the same year a fierce dispute arose between the EngUsh 

' Acts i Geo. IV. cap. 126. Loc & Pars. * See Black Book. ' Ibid. 

* 1236, Mathew Paris -writes, that in Ireland strange and wonderful sights were now seen, which 
amazed all the beholders, viz. There appeared coming out of the earth, companies of armed 
men on horse-back in battle array, and encountering together ; this sight appeared several days 
after each other ; sometimes they seemed to join in battle and to fight violently ; and sometimes 
they seemed to joust and break staves, as if it had been at a tournament ; the people of the 
country plainly saw them at a distance, for the skirmish shewed itself so lively, that now and 
then they might see them come with their empty horses, sore, wounded and bruised, and likewise 
men mangled and bleeding ; and what seemed most strange, was that after they vanished, the 
prints of their feet appeared in the ground, and th^ grass was trodden in those places where 
they had been seen ! ! ! 

* Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, Vol. I. p. 43. 


themselves about the possession of Limerick. Meyler the younger, son of 
Meyler Bermingham, besieged the city, and at last took it by force ; in con- 
sequence of which the English of Meath became dissatisfied; dissensions 
arose among them. Cowley Mac Convey Leyghaghkan, chief of Silronan, 
was killed, " with many hurts done among the English themselves.^^' In 
1208, Murtagh O'Brien, son of Donell, Lord of Thomond, was taken pri- 
soner by the English at Limerick, in violation of the guarantee of the three 
Bishops, and by order of his brother Donough Cairbreach,^ This fact is 
also mentioned in the Annals of Clonmacnoise.a In 1210, William De 
Burgo having received severe usage from the Connacians, to whom he and 
his people went to obtain " their wages,'''' returned to Limerick, and Cathal 
Crovderg assumed the regals way of Connaught.* It was in this year that 
the King, to supply " defects as far as he was able,'' divided Leinster and 
Munster, the only parts he had actually in possession, into the counties of 
Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Uriel, Catherlaigh (Carlow), Kilkenny, Wexford, 
Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry, and appointed sheriffs and 
officers of them after the manner of the English.^ An unportant grant Avas 
made to Edmond, bishop of Limerick at this period, A.D. 1215 — a grant 
which to our own day has continued to be a subject of interest to every class 
and party among the citizens, as it is connected with salmon and eel fisheries 
of the Shannon.^ The succession of mayors and bailiffs continued uninter- 
ruptedly, and the city was now formmg into a shape consistent v\dth the 
ideas of its Enghsh rulers, whose policy it was to have each city and town 
in Ireland thoroughly English, for nearly all outside the walls contmued abso- 

' MacGeogliegan's translation of the Annals of Clonmacnoise, The O'Leyghaghan family 
tvas otherwise called MacComneadlla, now MacNamee. O'Dugan makes O'Rouarc chief of Car- 
bright Gabra, which was in North Tiaffa. O'Leyghaghan was of the race of Fiacha, i.e. race of 
Tiaga, son of Neill — he was third son of Niall, of the Nine Hostages, monarch of Ireland, in the 
beginning of the fifth century. His descendants were the MacGeaghans and O'MoUoj's, whose 
country extended from Trim to Kildare, as we learn in an entrj' in MacGeaghan's translation of 
the Annals of Clonmacnoise, at the year 1207. 

2 Annals of the Four Masters, Vol. II. p. 133. 

8 " 1207, Murtagh MacUonnell O'Bryen, Prince of Thomond, was taken by the Englishmen 
at Lymbrick against the wills of three Busshopps, by the procurement of his own Brother, Do- 
nough Cairbreah Mac Donnell O'Brien." 

* Annals of Four Masters. 

» Cox Hib. Angli. Vol. I. p. 50. 

« Chancery Role 17th John : — 

Grant to the Bishop of Limerick ^ dated 5th Julij, 17° John (12l5.) 

John, by the grace of God, &c., to all, &c., greeting. Know ye that we, for the intention of 
the Lord, have granted, by this our charter confirmed, to God and the Blessed Mary, and to our 
venerable father Edmond, Bishop of Limerick, and his successors, ten pounds of silver for ever, 
every year, to be received at our Exchequer, Dublin, in free, pure, and perpetual alms of the 
farm rent assize of the cWj of Limerick and the fisheries of Limerick, which the said bishop 
against us has challenged. And the same bishop the ten marks which he has been accustomed to 
receive at our aforesaid Exchequer, in exchange of the lands of Drunnannalub, which, to the 
ancestor of the same before, we had given, together with the same land, to us and our heirs, for 
himself and his heirs, he has quitted claim. Wherefore, we Avill and firmly command, that the 
aforesaid Bishop of Limerick and his successors, may take for ever everj' year, at our aforesaid 
Exchequer of Dublin, those ten pounds of silver, in free, pure, and perpetual alms, as aforesaid. 
Witness, &c. &c. 

A mandate was issued on the 30th of July, 1216, to Geoffrey de Marshall, &c., oAlering him 
•without delay to cause the Venerable Father Edmond, Bishop of Limerick, to have the arrears 
which are due to him of the ten pounds which annually he ought to receive out of the Exchequer 
In Ireland (Close Role, 18 John) ; and on the 31st of July, same year, a mandate to the same to 
assess ten librates of land for the arrears due to the Bishop. 


lately hostile to the crown and interest of England.' The want of a market 
having been thus early experienced by the busy and energetic settlers, king 
Henry III. in the first year of his reign, conceded to Edmund, bishop of 
Limerick, a weekly market, every Tuesday, at his manor of " Mungerett."^ 
The bishops of the see of Limerick continued occasionally to reside at Mun- 
gret up to the tenth century, if not later, as we find from some of their 
documents, mandates, &:c. 

In the second year of Henry III. Walter de Lacy got " plein seizen,^-* 
(fuU possession) of the castle of Beathar near Limerick — Patent Rolls, 
Numb. 3. In 1223, the 6th year of Henry III., the King ordered that 
none should receive a place or messuage in the cities of Limerick or Water- 
ford, " who are strangers and do not abide in cities or good towns." — Close 
Rolls, No. 9. William Minntor and Adam Clericus, or Clarke, gave an 
account for the citizens of Limerick, of £70 of the Term of St. Michael of 
the 11th year, of the farm of theh manor house, and £140 for the whole of 
the 12th year, for the farm of said manor — in all £210. 

Eor a long period efforts were made to increase the trade and commerce of 
the city, and place them on an equahty with those of Galway and Waterford, 
which were Enghsh cities also, and towards which the Government had been 
earnestly manifesting their favor. Henry III. who in 1254 accepted Limerick, 
and afterwards granted it to Prince Edward, exerted himself strenuously for 
this object. Galway, however, kept the lead for a long period. At this 
moment, while the Limerick fisheries challenge so much public notice, it is 
interesting to find that the subject occupied the attention of a connnittee 
so early as the days of Edward I.^ The produce of the customs of Limerick 

• Roger Maii, John Cambitor, 

Walter Cross, Robert Albus (White), 

Simon Minitor, William de Wj'gornia, 

Roger de Raleie, Ludovicus or Lewis Fitz Hugh, 

William Fitz Rudolph, Robert Long, 

Rodolph le Talure, 

were citizens of Limerick in the 1 7th of king John's reign. — Arthur MSS. 
2 Close Roll, M». 10°. 
' on the 27th of October, 2nd Edward I., 1274, a commission was issued to Geoffry da 
Genyville to enquire into certain petitions of the citizens of Limerick, including among other 
matters the weir which 27 years l)efore, they received from Maurice Fitzgerald, then justiciary 
of Ireland, for a triennial term and not beyond, for 100 marks to king Henry, and how much 
the said weir may be worth by the year, in all the issues, &c. The inquisition was taken in 
Limerick, 4th Edward I., 1275, on Friday next after the feast of king Edmund the Martyr, 
before twenty-four jurors, in which they declare the weir is worth in all issues of the fishery 
by the year, to wit, in common years, and also in time of peace, twentj^ marks, &c. 
The names of the citizens before whom this inquisition was taken, are as follow ; — 
Lord Eustace de Rupe, Richard Laynach, 

Lord Hugh Porcel, Alexander Wale, 

Lord Robert Pincernan, Richard Brakeleye, 

William de Weys, Simon de Waltere, 

John Fitz Robert, William le Wilde, 

Reginald Scyrmissor, Robert Brun, 

Laurence Black, John Wodeford, 

Roger White, Walter Russell, 

Simon IMerduc, Thomas Fitz Elias, 

Walter de Wodeford, William Fitz Elias, 

Robert Keting, Richard Fanyn, 

Adam Breheynac, David Le ( ) 

The letter of Geoffry de Genyville to the king, is dated 8th March, 4th Edward 1., 1275, and 
after stating that he was occupied on divers affairs in the part of Ireland and towards Connaught, 
and elsewhere, he could not go to Limerick to take the above inquest, and that he did not wish it 
shovdd be taken, except by some certain men, he states that " the inquest was passed suitably in 
the several points, except in the extent of the land, as to which they have extended eleven 


from Michaelmas in the 8th year of Edward I. to Easter in the 10th year 
of that king, Avas only £31 5s. 2d. — soon afterwards the trade and 
commerce of the city fell rapidly, whilst Galway as rapidly advanced. On 
Pipe Roll no. 17, the nett produce of the customs of Limerick, appeals 
to have amounted only to Is. 6d. for a period when in Galway it reached, 
for the same time, £18 4s. 5|d. We do not wonder that Mr. Hardiman, 
the historian of Galway, should boast of the comparatively flourishing 
condition of the city of the tribes ; but Limerick was not destined to 
remain always in a secondary position. In after years not only was Galway 
left behind in the march of commercial enterj^rize, but it was thrown 
completely into the shade. At this period the citizens felt aggrieved in 
reference to the salmon and eel fisheries of the Shannon, and sent forward a 
petition to the king which was promptly responded to. The fisheries continued 
to be a source of very great mterest ; and several important matters relatmg 
to them appear on the records during the reign of Edward I. which show 
the attention which was paid by the crown to them at this period, and the 
regular accounts sent on of the revenues, as well as the payments made to 
the bishop.^ Eobert de Saint Edmond obtained a grant of the weirs, &c., 
but after he had petitioned, his rent for them yearly was fixed at twenty 
marcs. The grant of Thomond by Edward I. to Thomas de Clare had its 
effect not only on Limerick, but on the province of Munster, and more so 
on the province of Conuaught. This event took place in the year 1275 ; and 
to this day traces of it are found in every part of the great county to which 
de Clare gave his own name — a name which in after years became historical 
and cherished in the warm affections of the Irish people. Limerick con- 
tinned to progress, though Galway possessed more facihties as a port, and 
though so far back as the year 1277, Dermod More O'Brien of Tromra, 
county Clare, received twelve tuns of wine yearly as a tribute from the 
merchants of Galway " in consideration of protecting the harbour and trade 
from aU pirates and privateers, by mamtauiing a suitable maritime force for 
the purpose.''''^ 

carucates of land and a half, in demesne, by the year, for £20 3s. 4d." He states that the 
land is worth £30 in common years, and that " those citizens can sufficiently render you rent 
without loss, and without the waste land ; " " but know your lordship, that the citizens of this 
town hold very great place against the enemies of this march, and great damage have had by 
the Irish of that part, and by prices of your justiciaries before this time, whereby they ate 
much grieved. Wherefore, Sire, it is advised to us, that it would be good, if it please you, that 
you would do them some favour." He advises the withdrawal of the acquittance of felony, " if 
a man of their franchise kills another within the city, and he can purge himself of the fact by 
forty men." 

' Pipe Roll, 1st Edward I. (1272), Maurice le Blund and Walter de Attar, render an amount 
of £73 6s. 8d. of the farm of the same city this j-ear, and £220 of the same farm for three 
years preceding : and of £153 lus. Id. of the arrears thereof for many years preceding ; the 
sum £447 Is. 9d. In this account compensation to the amount of £40 is given to the bishop 
of Limerick for the fishery, for the aforesaid time, that is to say by the j-ear £10. Citizens after 
rendering several other accounts are brought in debt, £189 7s. lO^d. 

Pipe Roll, 5th Edward I. (1276-7), states, that the citizens render an account of £104 8s. 
of the issues of the weir of Limerick for the whole second year of the reign of king Edward, 
and of £31 8s. l^d. of the same issues for the whole third year of the reign of the same king, 
as is contained in the rolls which the aforesaid citizens delivered to the exoliequer, of the afore- 
said issues ; several other sums are stated in this weir, " wliich the citizens expended in emen- 
dations and other costs of the same weir," &c. 

The 8th November, 1276-'77, 4th Edward I , a mandate is issued to " Robert de Ufford, 
justiciary of Ireland, and the barons of the Exchequer, Dublin, a mandate, setting forth the 
inquisition of Geoffry de Genyville, &c., exonerating the citizens by the advice of Thomas de 
Clare, and taking up the weir from them, jtiovided that, upon the reception of that weir into 
our hand, tlie same weir be in the same good state, that it Ava? upon the day when the same 
citizens received the weir." 

* Hardiman's History of Galwsy, pp. 01 and 52, 


The mercliants of Limerick, on the contrary, up to the reign of James 1. 
and most likely for sometime afterwards, were compelled to give tribute of 
wine and merchandise from their ships, not only to the O^'Kehanes of Kilrush, 
and the O^Connors of Foynes, but to each possessor of a castle between the 
city and the sea ; which is one cogent reason no doubt, why the trade and 
commerce of Limerick did not equal those of Gahvay. According to the Annals 
of Innisfallen, the possessions of de Clare and the English of Thomond ex- 
tended fi'om Tiobraid-no-Huinnsion to the confines of Bunratty, where de 
Clare built the castle which to this our own day is one of the largest ancient 
edifices in Ireland. This castle has stood the brunt of several sieges, and, as a 
strategetical position, it has nothing to equal it on the Shannon. Bunratty was 
extremely useful whilst it protected the shipping and trade of the city. 

1285. In this year Edward I. granted a charter to the citizens of Limerick, 
empowering the freemen of theCorporationto meet in their common court witliin 
the said city, and there make laws and regulations for then- internal govern- 
ment.^ In the same year the Enghsh followers of de Clare were defeated 
by the chiefs of Thomond, headed by king Torlogh at Tardree ; and in 1287, 
after suffering repeated reverses, the sustained a decisive defeat in 1287, on 
which occasion Thomas de Clare, Fitzmaurice, Sir Eichard de Exeter, Sir 
Eichard Taffe, and other distinguished persons, were left dead on the field, 
and an expedition, headed by Geoffrey de Mariscis was sent to Connaught to 
quell the disturbances there.^ 

Following out the fortunes of the O^Brien family to the period when 
Murrough, the son of Turlough, resigned the title of king of Thomond for 
an Enghsh Earldom, we shall adopt the account given by the author of the 
valuable Irish tract, from which we have already quoted. 

"■ Tadhcj O^Brien, the elder son of Connor, left two sons, Tiu-loch and 
Donoch ; and according to the law of succession among the clanns, Torloch, 
though still in his minority, should succeed to the chieftaincy and to the title 
of O^Brien. In this, however, he was wrongfully anticipated by his father''s 
brother Brian Ruadh, who had himseK proclauned chief, and without any 
opposition. This Brian Ruadh continued to rule for nine years, until the 
young Torloch came to fuU age ; when backed by his relatives the 
MacNamaras, and his fosterers the O^Deas, he marched with a great force 
against his uncle, who, sooner than risk a battle, fled "with his immediate 
family and adherents, taking with him all his property, eastwards into North 
Tipperary, and left young Torloch in full possession of his ancestral rule and 

" Brian Ruadh, however, could not quietly submit to his loss and disgrace, 
and, taking council with his adherents, they decided on his seeking the aid 
of the national enemy, to reinstate him in his lost chieftainship. For this 
purpose Brian R^mdli and his son Donoch proceeded to Cork, to Thomas de 

1 The names visually met with in the records of these times, are Minutor, Clarke or Clericus, 
White, Arthur, Young or Juvenis, De Leyes, Crop ; in page 23 of the Black Book of the 
Bishops of Limerick, Symon Her-warder is styled Maj-or, and Maurice Blund and Walter of 
Adare, Provosts of Limerick, in 1230 — again in page 34, Simon Hirwarder, and Richard de la 
Cowe and Hugh Eicolf ; in page 60, Reginald de S. Jacobo is styled Seneschal of Limerick, 1230. 
These names do not appear in the Arthur MSS. 

' An account amounting to £60, appears furnished for bread and wine, &c., supplied to the 
expedition which was made by Geoffrey de Mariscis to Connaught. 

lu 12y0, Tallow Candles were first used in Limerick instead of rushes, &c. 


Clare, son of the Earl of Gloucester, then at the head of all the Anglo- 
Norman forces of Munster, and sought his assistance, oifering him an ample 
remuneration for his services. They offered him all the land lying betAveen 
the city of Limerick and the town of Ardsallas, in Clare. De Clare gladly 
accepted these tenns, and both parties met by agreement in Limerick, from 
which they marched into Clare ; where, before any successful opposition 
could be offered them, the Castle of Bunratty was built and fortified by the 
Norman leaders. 

" A short time afterwards, however, in the year 1277, de Clare put the 
unfortunate Brian Muadh to death, having had him drawn with horses and 
torn, not"WT.thstanding that the fidehty of the matrimonial alliance had 
been ratified by the most solemn oaths on all the ancient relics of Munster ; 
and it was then indeed that the great wars of Thomond commenced in 
earnest ; for, notwithstanding the treacherous death of their father, the in- 
fatuated soul of Brian Ruadh still adhered to de Clare, and the warfare was 
kept up with varying success till the year 1318, when Robert de Clare and his 
son were at last killed, in the battle of Disert O^Dea. After this the party 
of Brian Ruadh were compelled to fly once more over the Shannon into Ara, 
in Tipperary, where their descendants have ever since remained under the 
clann designation of the O^Briens of Ara. 

" The brave Dalcassians having thus rid themselves both of domestic and 
foreign usurpation, preserved their country, their independence, and their 
native laws and insitutions, down to the year 1542, when Murroch, the son 
of Tmioch, made submission to Henry the Eighth, abandoned the ancient 
and glorious title of the O^Brien, and disgraced his hneage by accepting a 
patent of his territory from an English king, with the title of the Earl of 
Thomond.''^ This however is anticipating. We now follow the order of 

In the year 1303, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, " a great 
army was led by the king of England into Scotland, and the (Eed) Earl and 
many of the Irish and English went with a large fleet from Ireland to his 
assistance. On this occasion they took many cities and gained sway over 

In 1304 Torlough received the hostages of all the chiefs of North 
Munster, demoHshing all the English castles as far as Youghal, and putting 
their garrisons to the sword. 

In the year 1306 Donough succeeded his father Torlough, and had scarcely 
been inaugurated when a confederacy was formed agamst him by the descen- 
dants of Brian Eoe, who were supported by Richard de Clare and the 
Dalcassian families who then occupied the Hy-]\Ibloid territory in the east 
of the county Clare, co-extensive Avith the present Deanery of Omullod in 
the diocese of KiUaloe. The most distinguished of these families were the 
O^Conaings, O^KennedySjCCeadfeas, O^Shannahaus (or Shannons), O'Hogans, 
O^Eactherns (Aherns) , O^Mailduius, O^'Duracthies, O^Lonargains, O^Conguilles, 
and O^Kearnies, from which latter family the river flowhig through Sixmile 

* The same event which is recorded as having occurred in 129!) by the Annalists of Ulster, 
led in some measure to the expedition of Bruce, whose arrival at Limerick we shall presently 
have occasion to mention. It had also an important effect on the condition of Ireland by en- 
couraging a licentious spirit of insurrection, and giving free course to the turbulence of both the 
English and Irish inhabitants. Hence several feuds broke out with new violence during the 
absence of these powerful lords, and petty wars were carried on to the utter desolation of the 
finest and most valuable of the English settlements. 


Bridge lias derived its second name, tlie original being Eaite, from which is 
derived Bunratty. The O'Gradies^ were also supporters of Brian Boe, and 
had been defeated at the battle of Clare Abbey in 1276, when commanded 
by Malion, the grandson of Donald Connachtahc. On the other side, 
Donogh was supported by his relatives, the Macconmaras, the commanders 

1 A large collection of notes in reference to the O'Grady family is in the possession of Miss 
Julia O'Grady, Castle Park, near Limerick. They held a territory in the county of Clare, called 
Kirell-Dongail, extending around Tonigraney. And in later days they constantly held the chief 
ecclesiastical dignities in the Cathedral of Killaloe. It is stated that the Bradys of Raheen, Co. 
Clare, and Brady, the first Protestant Bishop of Meath, were of the senior branch of the OGradys, 
who changed their name when becoming Protestants. The evidence is to be found in a work 
lately published by Mr. Brady, a son or brother of the Lord Chancellor Brady, containing 
extracts from the Chapter Books of Cloyne, Ross, Cork, &c. &c. The Kilballyowen branch, of 
whom a pedigree is in Burke's Landed Gentry, have been settled in Limerick, at Knockany and 
Kilballyowen, from an early date. Any belonged to the O'Kerwicks ; Thomas de Clare held it 
in 15 Edw. II. , and the O'Gradys held it about A.D. 1400, building Ballycahane Castle in 1496 
(D'Alton), and Rockbarton Castle, at Askeaton, soon after. A portion of the County Limerick 
estates, however, belonged to the celebrated Pierce Lacy, of Bruff ; Kilballyowen, Kilcullane, and 
other lands, being then O'Grady property. So we find these lands confirmed to Donough O'Grady 
in 1611 (Rot. Pat. Hib. 8 Jas. I.), and Pierce Lacy's estate confirmed to Sir Thomas Standish 
three years later (Rot. Pat. Hib. 11 Jas. I.) Sir Thomas Standish had a large estate, which 
eventually passed through his daughters ; a small portion to the O'Gradys (Dermod O'Grady 
having married Faith Standish ; see the will of Sir T. Standish, dated 1635), but the larger part 
to the Hartstonges, now represented by the Earl of Limerick. The Annals of the Four Masters 
describe John O'Grady, Archbishop of Tuam, who died in 1371, as the "leading man for wisdom 
and hospitality in his time." From these Annals we can trace the chieftainship of the senior 
branch of the O'Gradj-s as follows : — 
1268. Donell, chief of his name, died. 
1311. Donell, chief of his name, died. 
1408. Teige, chief of his name, died. 
1485. Nicholas, Abbot of Tomgraney, died. 
15 — . ? Donough, son of Nicholas, died. 

1559. Donoughoge, son of Donough, and grandson of Nicholas, Archdeacon of Killaloe, died. 
The Annals do not tell us, but we know by other records, (Patent Rolls, 9th July, 1553) that 
he was the chief of the O'Gradys, and had a confirmation of the estates from the Crown, with the 
honor of Knighthood by Patent. 1582, Donough, son of the above Donough, " a man of great 
power," died. He was Dean, probably of Killaloe, as the dignities in that Cathedral were kept 
in the same families for generations. The last notice I find of the OGrady family in the 
county of Clare, and one which shows that the Limerick branch acted in concert with their 
kinsmen in that county, is in the verA- curious journal of the siege of Ballyally Castle, near 
Ennis, printed in 1841 for the Camden Society. This castle was held by the widow of Maurice 
Cuffe (an Englishman, and a merchant in Ennis), assisted by her sons, one of whom was ancestor 
of the Earl of Desart. On the 10th January, 1642, Hugh O'Grady, of Stradnegalow, raised his 
clan, and began hostilities against the English settlers in the county of Clare, and on the 4th 
February they, with Connor O'Brien of Lemeneigh, Sir Donell O'Brien, and a few others of that 
name, (but without the approval of the Earl of Thomond,) and aided by the Mac Namaras, 
O'Loghlens of Burren, O'Hogans, O'Shaughnessj'S, and others, made an attack on Ballyally 
castle. " Captain Henry Gradey, of Cnockaney, in the County of Limerick," was one of those 
60 engaged — and being one of the chief leaders in the undertaking, he was deputed (being 
then styled in the Narrative " Captain Henry O'Gradey,") to summon the castle — " and being 
demanded by some that were upon the battlement warding, what athorety hee had to demand it, 
or right or claime he could laie to it. Whereupon hee anshwerd that hee had commission from 
his majesty to banesh all the Protestants of the kingdom of Ireland. Heere upon without 
furthar exeamenation, there was a bullet sent from the castell by one of the wardars to exeamen 
his cumishon, which went through his thigh, but he made shift to rumble to the bushes and 
there fell downe, but only laye by it sixteene wickes, in which time, unhapely, it was cured." 

This shot was fired, it appears, by " Andrew Chapling, minstar ; " perhaps some Protestant 
clergyman of the district. 

The O'Gradys were not intimidated by it. Having no cannon, they first made two " sows," a 
small one to clear the way, and a large one to follow ; the latter being 35 feet long, 9 feet broad, 
and mounted on four wheels. It was double planked ; nailed with nails to the value of £5, which 
had been collected to build the house of correction in Ennis, and covered with two rows of hides, 
and two rows of sheep skins, which made it bullet proof. They likewise made a leathern gun 
five feet long and 5 inches in diameter, with which they tried to batter the castle, but " shee 
only gave a great report, having 31bs. of powthar in bar, but lett fly backwarde, the bnllet 


of the great sept of Glancuilen^ so called from Cuilen^ the seventh in descent 
from Caissenj from whom this powerful race was also called Hy-Caessen, 
which Caissen was the second son of Cas^ eighth in descent from Olliol Olum, 
king of Mimster, in A.D. 234. This sept included the following families. 
Clan ]\iacconmaraj Clan-an-Oirchinneagh (Maclnnerhcnies) Clan a Ghiollam- 
havil, Clan-an-Chlaraugh, ClanMmheaumaiQj O^Maeldownv, O^Halloran, 
O'Slattery, O'Hossin, O^Hartigan, O'Haly, O'Cindergam, O'Maly, O'Meehan, 
and O^Liddy. Donogh was also supported by the two very powerful famiHes 
of O^Quinn' and O^Dea, the chieftains of Cinel Fearmaic, now the barony of 

In 1309 these families met to decide the sovereignty of Thomond by the 
arbitrament of the sword, and a battle ensued in which Dermod, the grandson 
of Brien Eoe, was defeated, and his brother Connor slain.^ 

The next year the territory of the O^Gradies (the Cinel Dongaile) was 
invaded and devastated by Dermod, by whom they were compelled to join 
him. The English as well as the Irish were now pitted in hostile camps, in 
consequence of the feuds existing between the Geraldines and De Bui'ghos, 
the latter of whom supported Donogh, whUe the Geraldines joined their 
connexions, the De Clares, in sustaining the claims of Dermod. 

The first entry in the Annals of the Four Masters for 1310, states that 
" Conor O^Brien the best roydamna (heir presumptive, literally, ' makings of 
a king,^) was treacherously slain by the black Enghsh."^ In the year 1311, 
was fought the battle of Bunratty, in which 630 gallowglasses of Donogh^'s 
army were killed, and De Burgho taken prisoner. The besiegers were com- 
manded by the Red Earl of Ulster, Clonroad Castle was burned to the 
ground ; Donogh himseK was treacherously slain by a relative, and his suc- 
cessor Dermod died m the same year in which he was chosen.'' These events 
are somewhat differently recorded by the Annalists of Clomnacnoise, who 
state that he was deposed and succeeded by IMurtagh son of Turlogh. On 
the death of Dermod, his kinsmen Donogh and Brian Bane, grandsons of 
Brian Roe, once more took the field with the families of the Hy-Mbloyd. 
They were defeated at the battle of Tully O'Dea, and obhged to fly to Bun- 
ratty to seek the assistance of De Clare, which was granted. In the year 
1313 Donough, supported by the English, vanquished his enemies, drove 
Murtagh O^Brien and his brother into Connaught, and was himself formally 
inaugurated King of Thomond.^ The next year, however, a new di\dsion 
of territory took place by a decision of the States of Thomond, who awarded 
the eastern portion to Murtagh with the addition of Clonroad and Hy Cormac, 
the present barony of Islands. Muitagh O^Brien, encouraged by the in- 

remaiuing within.'' And as the sows also turned out useless to the besiegers, being taken in a 
successful sally on the 27th of Feburary, they raised the siege. 

The O'Gradj's and O'Shaughnessys afterwards attacked Inchicronan castle, of which they 
eventually obtained possession. But we find no mention of the O'Gradys of Knockany as 
concerned in further actions at this period. 

* The O'Quins are at present represented by the Earl of Dunraven. The O'Deas who gave 
their name to the parish of Dj-sart O'Dea, were connected by fosterage with the O'Briens, 
between whom and them a strong tie of affection subsisted to a very late period. 

2 Annals of the Four Masters. 

3 This expression puzzled Dr. O'Donovan who thinks it means the English lately came over. 
It is most likely, however, that it is a term of reproach which was richly merited by these 
ruthless and perfidious and turbulent invaders, the theatre of whose quarrels was now tr.ins- 
ferred to the kingdom of Thomond. 

* Annals of the Four Masters. 

* Annals of the Four Masters. 


trigiung English, who still pursued the Machiavellian policy of dividing and 
conquering, again sent for their Connaught allies, the De Burghs, O^KeUys, 
and O^Maddens, and succeeded in expelling Donogh and Brien. These 
monotonous feucls and barbarous dissensions always fomented by the Anglo- 
Norman invaders, were diversified by a more interesting event in the history 
of Thomond, occasioned by the arrival of a new invader. 

In 1315 Edward Biiice invaded Ireland. He defeated Eichard Earl of 
Ulster and Feidhm 0''Connor, who marched against him with 8000 men : 
the waUs of Athenry are said to have been built by the spoils of the battle. ^ 
In the following year Bruce besieged Limerick, burned the suburbs, and in 
the same year, (1316) he made the city the rendezvous of his army. Tra- 
dition points to the place in which it is said he resided during his occupation 
of Limerick. Donough, grandson of Brian Roe O^Brien, was one of the 
first princes to join Bruce, by whom he was conducted to Cashel, Nenagh, 
and Castle Connel. 

The chieftams of Thomond, however, who sided with the English, had 
made formidable preparations to receive him, and having given command of 
the army to Murtagh, King of Thomond, compelled the Scottish invader to 
retreat just as he was on the point of crossing the Shaimon.^ 

1318, Battle of Dysert O^Dea, Richard Lord Clare, with four knights 
and eighty men were slain by MacCarthy and O'Brien. Lord Clare was in- 
terred among the Friars in St. Francis's Abbey, Limerick. The name of 
De Clare now disappears from Irish history ; but not from the locahty of 
Bunratty w'here the great castle was built, because we find to tliis day certain 
members of the Studdert family bearing the name of De Clare. 

Returning to the Civil History of Lunerick, in 1331, Mam-ice FitzThomas, 
Earl of Desmond, was apprehended in the city on Assumption Day, by Sir 
Anthony Lucy, the Lord President, and sent to the Castle of Dublin. In 
the next year some followers of Desmond, who had been confined in the 
King's Castle, rose on the Constable, killed him, and seized the Castle into 
theii' own hands. Bamberry the ]\Iayor, headed the citizens, and showed 
such courage, presence and resolution, that they soon recovered the Castle, 
repaying the hostages in a manner so hostile that they put them to the sword 
without exception, irrespectively of rank or quality. 

The salmon and eel fisheries in those disturbed and anxious times, were 
not lost sight of; on the contrary they continually occupied the attention of 
the authorities ; and the records of the time show clearly the valuable esti- 
mation they were held in as AveU by the citizens as by the Government.^ 

A Parhament held at Kilkenny in 1340, having granted a subsidy to the 
King, Ralph Kelly, Archbishop of Cashel, opposed the levying of it within 
his province. In this proceeding he was supported by the Bishops of Limerick, 

' Hardiman's History of Galway. 

* The invasion of Ireland by Edward Bruce is so interesting an event, independent!}' of its 
connection witli the History of Limerick, that the reader will consult with advantage a sketch 
of his progress in Ireland, by Dr. M-Dermott, from Hollyshed, Campion, Cox, Leland, Moore, 
Lodge's Peerage and other sources. 

» Pipe KoU, 12th and 13th Edward, l.'ilS-'lS. — Thomas Crop and Alexander Barrett, Provosts 
of Limerick, render an account of £36 13s. 4d. of the farm for the same city; this roll mentions 
i:65, which they delivered to the Bishop of Limerick for recompense of the fishery there for 
Easter term, in the 12th year of the reign of king Edward, son of king Edward, and for the 
six years preceding, viz. by the year £lO. Eobert de Saint Edmund's account (£120) of the 
issues of the weir at Limerick, is set out as well as other accounts of the issues of the weirs. 


Emly, and Lismore ; and at an assembly held at Tipperary, they decreed that 
all beneficed clergymen, contributing to the said subsidy, should lose their 
benefices, and that the laity who were their tenants, should be excommuni- 
cated, and their children to the third generation held incapable of holding 
any church Hving within that province. In execution of this decree the 
Archbishop and his suffragan Bishops were charged with ha\dng gone to 
Clonmel, and in their pontifical robes, in the pubhc streets, excommunicated 
all those Avho granted or ordained the said subsidy, or who Avere concerned 
in levying the same, and for this offence an information was exhibited against 
them, the King's damages being laid at one thousand pounds. The Arch- 
bishop pleaded that neither he nor his suffragans had granted subsidy in the 
said Parliament — that by Magna Charta the Church was to remain free, and 
all were to be excommunicated who should infringe the liberties granted 
thereby. He confessed that he had excommunicated all who were enemies to 
the King's peace, who should uifringe the said statute, or levy any subsidy 
without the King's consent — but he denied havuig excommunicated any person 
on account of the said subsidy. They were, however, found g-uilty, but we 
are not informed that any punishment was inflicted on them. 

A charter was granted in aid of building a bridge at Limerick, and the 
election of a city coroner took place. ^ In the year after the city returned its 
first members to Parhament ; and absenteeism^ was prohibited ; whilst the 
fisheries still filLed the public mind with proceedings connected with them. 

Pipe Roll, 2nd and 3rd Edward III., 1328-'29.— Robert Long and William de Rupe, Bailiffs, 
render account of the farm of the city of Limerick, and several sums and £95 delivered to the 
Bishop of Limerick in recompense of the fishery of the city of Limerick. 

Pipe Roll, 2nd and 3rd Edward III., 1328-'29. — Account of the issues of the weir. 

Commission to the Mayor of Limerick, dated 13th June, Edward III., 1331, Ireland commis- 
sion of weirs. — " Know that we of our special grace have granted to our trusty the Mayor, &c.. 
Commonalty of the city of Limerick, in Ireland, our weirs, to the said city belonging ; to hold 
from the day of making these presents, to the end of the five years next following, paying to 
our Exchequer as much as those who heretofore held those weirs," &c. &c. 

Pipe Roll, 10th to 12th Edward III., 1337— 1339.— City of Limerick: John Daniel and 
Thomas Ricolt, Bailiffs, render an account of the fee farm of the city, and a sum of £25 which to 
the same is allowed, in recompense of the fishery of the city of Limerick, which was of the Bishop 
of Limerick, &c. &c. Robert de Saint Edmund's account is set out, and the account of Mayor 
and Bailiffs' arrears of farm, of weirs, of water of Shynyu. 

Pipe Roll, 17th Edward III., 1343 '44. — City of Limerick: William Western and Richard 
Walsh, Bailiffs for the same, render an account of the fee farm, £30 recompense to the Bishop 
of the fishery of Limerick ; account of the issues of the weirs. 

In 1343, there was a grant to John de Balstot of the king's weirs at Limerick. Hugh da 
Burgh, treasurer, caused the weirs to be extended, and that extent to be delivered to the 

' Calendary of the Patent and close Rolls of Chancery— 67. 

2 We give the following as a curious instance of the wills of this period. 1361, 36th Edward 
III., 12th of August, Edmund Wyndebald, citizen of Limerick, gave to his son Paul Wynde- 
bald, and in defect to him of legitimate male issue, to William Long, and in defect of legitimate 
male issue to William Long, to Peter de Rupe (Roche), and in defect to Peter de Rupe of legiti- 
mate male issue, to Robert de Rupe, and in defect of him of such issue, to the heirs in a direct 
line of the said Edmund, for ever, all the messuages, lands and tenements, and returns to them 
belonging in the city and suburbs of Limerick, as also all the lands and tenements of Donnouyer 
and Carrigbethelagh, with their appurtenances in the county of Limerick, Witness the Mayor 
U. B., and Bail3^wes J. W., T. T., above named, Eustacius Delece, Thomas Kildare, Gilbert Fitz- 
thomas. Compared at Drogheda the 12th of May by Nicholas Stanihurst, Notary of the 
Diocese of Derry, (Arthur MSS.) 

Nicholas Bakekar, Mayor ; John Wigmore and John Troy, Bailiffs : — Arthur MSS, 




We resume the Annals of Tliomond, already given in summary. Mahon 
Maonmaighe O^Brien, tlie eldest son of Murtogh, tlie usurping king of 
Thomond, who accordmg to the Eour Masters, deposed his uncle Dermod in 
1363, is gratefully remembered by nationalists for having compelled the 
English of North Munster to pay the DubcMos or black rent. Twelve years of 
this princess reign were spent in feuds, chiefly excited by the intrigues of the 
English. He was succeeded by his brother Torlogh, surnamed Mael or the 
Bald. The new king was dethroned and banished from Thomond by his 
nephew, Brian Catha an Aonaigh, and took refuge in the county Watcrford 
with Garrett, Earl of Desmond, who, leading an army to reinstate him in his 
dominions, was met and totally defeated by Brian. This battle was fought 
on the banks of the Maig, now Monaster Nenagh, in the county Limerick, 
near the celebrated Monastery founded in 1131 by Tui-logh O^Brien. On 
this occasion the Earl of Desmond, John Fitz Nicholas, and Sir Thomas Eitz- 
john, with many other nobles, were taken by O^Brien and ]\iacnamara of 
Thomond, in the Abbey. It was from this battle, in which Brian Catha 
obtained a great victory, that he received the surname of Aonach, from the 
fair green on which it was fought. The Eour Masters state that on this 
occasion " Limerick was burned by the Thomonians and the Claincuilen (the 
MacNamaras), upon which the inhabitants capitulated with O^Brien. Sioda 
Cam (Macnamara,) son of the daughter of O'Dwyer (of Kilnemanagh) assumed 
the Wardenship of the io-wa. ; but the EngHsh who were in it acted treacher- 
ously towards him and killed him.''^ The same authority states that Brien 
O'Brien, lord of Thomond, was banished by Turlough, son of Murtogh 
O'Brien and the Clanrickardes ; from which it appears that Turlogh Mael Avas 
set up again by the Enghsh. In this feud the Macnamaras followed opposite 
parties. The death of Turlogh Mael in the English Pale is recorded by the 
Four Masters as having taken place in 1398, which was the year in which his 
patron Garrett or Gerald also died. James, the successor of this Earl, ob- 
tained a grant of the territory east of the Blackwater from Henry V. in 1413, 
in which year also he granted to the descendants of Torlogh O'Brien a part 
of the lands about the Comeragh Mountains, where their posterity are still 
known as the Waterford O'Briens.* 

In the year 1394, Richard the Second, king of England, landed in Water- 
ford. He is said to have been stimulated to undertake his new enterprise by 
a taunt uttered by the German Electors, from Avhom his ambassadors had in 
vain solicited the Imperial Crown of Germany ; the Electors pronouncing him 
unworthy of that high dignity, as neither being able to keep the conquests 

' In 1367 the statutes of Kilkennj' were passed prohibiting the use of the Irish language, 
costume and customs, the presentation of Irishmen to ecclesiastical benefices as well as their ad- 
mission into religious houses. The practice of the Brehon Laws and the entertaining of bards 
and minstrels were b}' it declared penal. We have great pleasure in stating the curious fact, 
that by the returns of the late census, it appears that we have in this year, 1864, more people 
speaking Irish than existed at the passing of this atrocious measure. We notice, too, with very 
great satisfaction, that the study of the Irish language is increasing rapidly every year, even 
among the better informed classes of Irishmen. 


in France, made by his ancestors, nor to repress the msolence of his own 
subjects, nor to reduce to obedience his rebellious vassals in Ireland. 

The anny which landed with Richard consisted of 4000 men at arms and 
30 000 archers — a formidable army which soon obhged several of the native 
chieftains to make another enforced submission, which, however, amounted 
to a mere nominal allegiance intended to be broken at the earliest oppor- 

lu i399 when Brian O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, died, occurred also the 
death of Torlogh, son of Morrogh na Eaithnighe O'Brien, the representative 
of the hue of Brian Eoe. Brian was succeeded by his brother Conor. 

In this prmce's reign the Franciscan Abbey of Quin, m the county Clare, 
was completed by SiodaCam Maccomnara, prince of Glancnilen. June 11th, 
1400, Gerald, the fifth Earl of Kildare, Patrick Fox and Walter Fitzgerald, 
were appointed Ciistodes Pads et Supervisor es Custodium pacts in comitatu 
Limericensi.'^ Thomas Fitzgerald, son of the Earl of Kildare, was High 
Sheriff of Lunerick county. 3 On the 20th of January, 1414, Henry V. 
granted a charter to the citizens of Limerick, m which he coniu-med the 
liberties already extended by his grandfather, Kmg John, and granted " that 
no citizen of Lmierick shall be impleaded outside the walls of the same city 
of any plea, except of pleas of outer tenements, which do not pertain to the 
Hundred of the aforesaid city. And that they may be quit of mm-der withm 
the metes of the city, and that no citizen shall make duel in the same city of 
any appeal, which any one against him can make, but he shall purge liimseK 
by the oath of forty men of the same city, who shall be lawful. And that 

» The king remained a week in Waterford, gave splendid entertainments, and received the 
homao-e of such Anglo-Irish Lords as the Le Poers, the Graces and Butlers. He was a benefac- 
tor to^the churches and confirmed the charter to the great Abbej' of the Holy Cross which had 
been granted bj^ king John. On this occasion he summoned to appear before him, by the Feast 
of the Purification, the Earl of Desmond, that celebrated Gerald " the Poet," who went to war 
with the Butlers for giving him the nickname of ' The Rhymer,' in whatever part of Ireland he 
should then be, to answer the charge of having usurped the m;inor, revenues and honor of Dun- 
garvan.* He then formed the resolution of marching to Dublin under the consecrated banner 
of the canonized king Edward the Confessor, which bore, says Froissart, " a cross patence or on 
a field gules with four doves argent on the shield." The celebrated Art M'Murrogh had however 
full notice of his movements, and had made effectual arrangements for interrupting his progress. 
The notices, however of these transactions by native annalists are very slight ; and for the 
details the reader should have recourse to Froissart, to a Norman metrical sketch of which Moore 
has availed himself, and to the original Rolls which contain the submission of the Irish kings, 
and which as vet remain to be translated.! . , . . ^ , 

The rudenes"s or simplicity of the manners of these Irish chieftains as dwelt upon with great 
emphasis by Froissart the French chronicler of these royal festivities. They were with great 
difficulty induced to change their plain mantles for robes of silk, trimmed with squirrel skin or 
miniver, and their aversion to wear breeches was as deeply seated as that of some of the primi- 
tive Highlanders of Celtic Scotland. A very handsome house was set apart for the four kings 
and their attendants. The Earl of Runde, who spoke Irish fluently, and Castide who had 
learned it while a prisioner with Brian Costeret (see Foissart), were appointed as interpreters to 
wait upon them and translate between them and the English. They were so unsophisticated 
it appears in their manners as to desire that their minstrels and principal servants should sit at 
the same table and eat of the same dish, and it required all the pressing eloquence of the inter- 
preters to dissuade them from what they called a praiseworthy custom. Having kept watch all 
the night before the Church, they were knighted on Lady Day, in the Cathedral of Dublin, after 
the usage of England and France, though they assured the king that they had already received 
the honor of knighthood whin they were seven years old ; and the ceremony was followed by a 
great banquet, at which the four 'Irish kirgs in robes of state sat with king Richard, at his 
table (Froissart). The presence of O'Connor and M'Murrough is, however, denied by some of 

the annalists.^ _ • •• 01 

2 Smyth's History of Cork, vol. ii. p. 20. ' Lodges Peerage, vol. 11. p. 81. 

* Lynch's Feudal Dignities of Ireland. 

■j- Dr. O'Donovan's Aunals of the Four Master*. + Ibid. 



no one shall take procurations witliin the walls by assize or by livery of the 
marshals against the will of the aforesaid citizens. And that the citizens 
shall be quit of toU, lastage, passage, pontage, and of all other customs 
throughout his whole land and power. And that none of those citizens shall 
be indicted of an amercement of money except according to the law of the 
Hundred, to wit, by the forfeiture of forty shdliugs, whereof he who shall 
happen to be in amercement shall be acquitted of one-half, and the other half 
he shall give in amercement, excepting three amercements, to wit, of the 
assize of breads and ale, and of watchings, which now are of two shillings and 
sixpence, whereof one-half shall be forgiven, and the other half shaU be ren- 
dered in amercement. And that the Himdred shall be held once only in a 
week. And that he shall be in no plea " for and cause by miskenning," and 
that they may justly have their lands, and tenures, and their pledges, and 
debts, throughout his whole land and power, whoever shoidd have them. 
And that they may distrain then- debtors by their goods in Limerick, and that 
of the lands and tenures to which within the city they shall be entitled, they 
shall be held according to the customs of the city, and of the debts , which 
shall be accommodated, and of the pledges given in. the same cit}^, pleas there- 
of may be held according to the custom of the city, saving to him and his 
heirs the pleas touching the Crown." 

This charter also ordered " that no foreign merchant shall buy withm the 
same city of a foreigner, corn, hides, or wool, except of the citizens of the 
city. And that no foreigner shall have a tavern in the city, of wine, except 
in a ship ; and this liberty reserved to the king, that from each ship the 
bailiff shall choose two casks of wuie to the king's use, wheresoever they 
■wish in the ship, namely, ' one before the mast, and the other behind the 
mast,"* for forty shillings, viz. one for twenty shillings, and the other for twenty 
shillings, and no more thereof he shall take except at the Avill of the mer- 
chants. And that no foreigner shall sell cloth in the same city by retai!, 
nor shall remain in the same city with his wares there to be sold except for 
forty days. And that no citizen of Limerick shall be attached or distrained 
for any debt, unless he be a debtor or surety ; and that they may marry 
themselves, and their sons and daughters, and widows of the same city, 
mt/iotit the license of their lords." 

Henry VI. granted another charter in 1423 in which the following passage 
occurs : — " And that they (the citizens) may hold their market as they have 
been accustomed from of old to hold it ; and also that no one who is an 
Irishman, by blood and nation (the term ' Irishman,^ being understood and 
taken as it is accustomed to be taken and understood in our land of Ireland), 
shall be mayor, or exercise any office within our said city ; nor shall any one 
within the aforesaid city take or maintain any child of Irish blood and nation, 
as is aforesaid, as an apprentice, under penalty of forfeiting his franchise in 
the aforesaid city." 

In the following year, viz. 1424, the Charters of Limerick were con- 
firmed (P. and C. Rolls.), and the Bishop was summoned to answer certain 
charges (ibid.) There is a record of the wehs also this year (Select Rolls.) 

In the year 1426, Connor O'Brien died at an advanced age, and was suc- 
ceeded by Teige na Glemore, his nephew, and son to O'Brian Catha an 
Aonaigh. Of Teighe na Glemore's sons — one, Brian Duff, was ancestor to 
the O'Briens of Carrigogunnel, and gave his name to Pobble Brien, in the 
county Limerick, — another, Donald, was Bishop of Limerick, according to 


Dr. O'Bricn.i August 31st, UU, 1st Henry VI., tlie Earl of Desmond 
was appointed Constable of the Castle of Limerick, and in 1444 was appointed 
Governor of the counties of Limerick, Waterford, Cork, and Kerry, with a 
liberty to absent himself from Parliament for life,^ on condition of sending a 
sufficient proxy. He married a daughter of Ulick Burke Mac William 
Eighter, and he is said by some to have brought the MacShechys into Mun- 
ster as his life-guards. The MacSheehys, however, were in Munster before 
hunself. They are given by O'HaUoran as chiefs of BaUyhallinan, in the 
barony of Pobble Brien, county Limerick.^ Dui'ing the wars of the Roses 
the attention of the English Govermnent was so much taken up by their 
domestic quarrels that the Irish were all but left to their o^yn devices. All 
the power of the Government was unable to keep the native chieftains from 
collecting theii" " black rent •/' and the Geraldmes, especially the Desmond 
branch, soon adopted all the peculiar habits of the natives, and were designated 
by the English as " more Irish than the Irish themselves.^'' In the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth and of the sixteenth Earl of Desmond, for the word "reign'' 
is not inappHcable to this powerful chieftain's tenure of power, no less than 
one hundred thousand acres of his property were confiscated in the county of 
Limerick alone, and divided between the foUoT\Tng EngUsh famdies : — the 
Annesleys, Barkleys, Billingsleys, Bourchiers, Carters, Courtenays, Fittons, 
]\Iannerings, Stroudes, Trenchards, Thorntons and Uthereds. Trinity College, 
Dubhn, also owes much of its property to the Desmond confiscations. 

A charter to the Mayor of Limerick was granted in 1433. In 1436, a trial 
was prohibited in Limerick by ecclesiastical authority. In 1442, Sii- John 
Talbot was endowed with a grant out of the fee-farm of the city. In 1450, 
important improvements, which are more particularly noticed in the annals of 
Limerick, were efi'ected. In 1453, John Cantwell, Archbishop of Cashel, 
held a provincial synod here, the canons of which are to this day extant 
(Wilkins' Coucil. tom. iii). Teigh O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, in the year 
1467, led a very great force southward, across the Shannon, m the summer; 
he plundered the Irish of Desmond and of West Munster (Cork and Kerry) ; 
the Irish of Leinster also paid him tribute, and he then rekuTied home, after 
having taken possession of the territory of Clan William (in Tipperary), and 
of the county of Limerick, which were confirmed to him by the earl of Des- 
mond, for obtaming peace for himself and his country. After obtaining secu- 
rity of sixty marks for him and his heirs for ever, fi'om the people of Limerick, 
he died, and Conor, the son of Turlogh O'Brien, was appointed his successor.^ 

• The Annals for 1411 contain the following, amongst other entries : — 

" Donnell, the son of Conor O'Brien, Tanist of Thomond, was slaiu by Barry More." 
" Thomas, the son of John, Earl of Desmond, was banished from Ireland by James, the son 
of Garrett." 

" Dermot, the son of Gilla-Isa Magrath, Ollav of Thomond in poetry, died." 
The Thomas, son of John, Earl of Desmond, thus briefly alluded to as banished by his uncle 
James, son of Garrett or Gerald (the ward of the O'Briens of Thomond), is the hero of the 
romantic story immortalised in Moore's beautiful song, " By the Feal s wave benighted." 

The Earl of Desmond, who was ward or foster son to the O'Briens, and of whom we have 
spoken before, as conferring grants in land in the county Watcrford on the descendants of 
Torlogh O'Brien the Bald, banished from Thomond about 1367, may be regarded as the hrst of 
that great house who held vast estates in Limerick, Cork, Kerry, and Waterford, and who as- 
sumed the regal or princely state, in virtue of which they conferred Knighthood on some of their 
relatives— the Knight of Kerry, the Knight of Glyn, the White Knight, &c. He was the fifth 
in descent from Maurice Fitzgerald, the father-in-law of De Clare, who treacherously murdered 
Brian Roe O'Brien at Bunratty. lie obtained Milo de Cogan's extensive property in Cork, by 
lioyal license, which enabled him to purchase whatever lands he pleased, and by whatever service 
they were held under the king. 

• Lodge's Peerage, vol. i. p. 07. ^ gge p 41. * Annals of the Four Masters, 





The annals of these times startle us witli strange and terrible incidents. 
In 1460 O'Brien^ Bishop of Killaloe (Terence or Turlongli O^Brieu see 
Harris's Ware, p. 594, who refers to the Annals of Ulster for fiu'ther parti- 
culars) was killed by Brian of the Fleet at Clonroad, on which the original 
town of Innis or Ennis stood. The site of the present town was a strath or 
green belonging to Clonroad, which was the principal seat of the 0''Briens.* 
Constant wars between the natives marked the features of the times. In a 
maritime expedition of the CMeallys of Mayo with the son of O'Brien, to 
Corca Bhaiscinn, the MacMahon's country, comprising the baronies of Moy- 
arta and Clonderalaw, in the South West of the county Clare, against 
MacMahon, three of the party were slain before they could reach their ship ; 
Donald O'Brien and ]\lahon O'Brien were taken prisoners on their way to 
their ship ; their people were slaughtered ; and subsequently O'Brien O'Meally 
was slain by his brother Hugh O'Meally, in a dispute which arose between 

It was on the 4th of March, in this year, that Edward IV. was made King 
of England. He granted a charter to Limerick in 1464. In 1462, the young 
Earl of Ormond came to Ireland with a large number of Saxons [i.e. English- 
men], a great war broke out between the Earls of Ormond and Desmond; 
Garrett, the son of the Earl of Desmond, was taken prisoner by the Butlers ; 
in successive fights the Desmonds suffered several defeats ; the Butlers in con- 
sequence rose to very great power.^ Mac PJchard Butler, who is designated 
the most renowned and illustrious of the Enghsh of Ireland in his time, died 
soon afterwards — he was educated by Eichard O'Hedigan, Archbishop of 
Cashel, accorduig to a memorandum on foho 115 of the Psalter of Cashel. 
Not satisfied with the way in which Thomas, Earl of Desmond, who had 
been sent over in 1464, conducted the government of Ireland, John Tiptoft, 
Earl of Worcester, was deputed to replace him — an occurrence, according to 
the annalists, which wrought the ruin of Ireland. 

The Earl was invited to Drogheda to meet Tiptoft, when taking advantage 
of the occasion, his enemies accused him of making alliances witli the Irish, 
" who were the king's enemies, and furnishing them with horses and arms 
against the king's subjects." He was beheaded on the 15th of February, 
1467-8, by order of Tiptoft.* But these were only the pretended reasons 
given for his destruction. A child of his kindred and name was appointed to 
be executed at the same time, who besought the executioner not to hurt a 
boil that was upon his neck; the putting of which child to death confirms the 
opinion that malice and revenge were the pruicipal reasons why this Earl so 
unhappily lost his Hfe.^ Edward Plunkett, Esq., was also attainted at the 
same time for the same alleged charge, and suffered. ■ Tiptoft is said by Cox^ 
to have been one of the most learned and eloquent men of Christendom. One 
of the articles of his Parliament of Drogheda was that " none shall purchase 
Bulls for Benefices from Rome under legal penalty." Between the Desmonds 

' Annals of the Four Masters. 2 ibid. 3 jbid. 

* It was in this year that a patent was passed to Lord Dunboyne of the prisage of wines in 
the Ports of Cork, Youghal, Ross, Galway, Limerick, Kiasale, Dungarvan, and Dingle, with 
£10 per annum for his services in taking Con O'Connor and delivering him to the Lord-Deputy, 
the Earl of Worcester. — Smith's History of Cork. 

* Smith's History of Cork, p. 28,— and Smith's History of Kerry, p. 251. 

* Cox'a Ilibernica Anglicana, 


and tlie MacCarthys, feelings of animosity prevailed — the young Earl of 
Desmond was taken prisoner by the MacCarthys ; but he was soon afterwards 
released. The Prince of Thomond, m these wars between the Desmonds and 
the Butlers, took an active part with the latter. On the return of the Earl 
of Kildare to this country after triumphing over his enemies, he marched into 
North Munster, where he was met by Conor-na-Srona, at the head of the 
Dal-gais ; battle was given to the Lord Justice, near the Castle of Ballyhicky, 
in Thomond, a desperate engagement took place, the Earl of Kildare was 
defeated ; and Conor-na-Srona obtained possession of the Castle above named, 
and another stronghold belonging to Eineen Macnamara. Conor-na-Srona 
had two sons — the elder, Teige, killed in a fray by Desmond, son of the 
Bishop O'Brien, who was immediately put to death by the bereaved father m 
1474 . — the second, Donough, father of O'Brien, who was compelled to part 
with the fertile plain of Shallee, near Ennis, as a ransom when taken prisoner 
by the two sons of Murrough, ancestor of the Earls of Inchiquin, and of the 
O'Briens of Dromoland. Terence O'Brien, lord of Arra, died in 1487. ' 
In the same year, on the night of the Epiphany, a great tempest arose ; 
it was a night of general destruction to all, by reason of the number of 
prostrated persons and cattle destroyed, and trees and houses, both on water 
and land, throughout Ireland. Strange that houses should have been buUt 
upon water, but the fact is so — the Irish chieftains had their residences thus 
protected, even during the reign of Queen Eh/abeth, and it was in one of those 
that O'Neill in that reign, kept his plate, many valuables, &c. In 1488, 
another dreadful tempest arose, and the summer of this year was so -wet, it 
was as inclement as wmter, and much of the crops decayed. In the same 
year, on the 7th of December, James, the ninth Earl of Desmond, was 
basely murdered at his house of Courtmatriss, near Eathkeale, m the county 
of Limerick, by his own servants, at the early age of twenty-eight years. 
The murderers did not escape with impunity ; they were all apprehended and 
executed by Maurice, who was the tenth Earl, and who being usually carried 
in a litter, was named Claudus— he joined Perkm Warbeck, and besieged the 
city of Waterford ;^ but receiving the kmg's pardon, he was granted all the 
customs, coquets, poundage, and prise wines in Limerick in 1497. 

In 1485 Nicholas O'Grady, Abbot of Tuam Greine (now Tomgrany, in 
the barony of Upper Tullagh, Co. Clare) who is called a charitable and truly 
hospitable man, and the twelfth man who was free in Limerick, died.^ 
On the 26th of June, 1489, Henry VII. granted a charter to Limerick. 
In 1492, Edward Poynuil, (Sir Edward Poynings) a Knight of the Garter 
and Privy Councillor, came from England with the Earl of Kildare, and the 
celebrated act, called Poyning's act, was passed, by which, among other things, 
it was enacted, that all the statutes made lately m England, concerning or 
belonging to the public weal, should be thenceforth good and effectual m 
Ireland. In the following year. Con, son of Hugh Eoe O'Donnell, with his 
" great little army," in his tight with the Glyns, never halted till he crossed the 
Shannon, and afterwards advanced into Munster, where he totally plundered 
Magh o'g Coinchinn, now Magunniliy, a barony in the South East of the county 

1 O'Donoughne's History of the O'Briens. 

» Smith's Jlistorv of Kerry— Smith's History of Waterford. 

3 Annals of tho Four Masters. Dr. O'Donovan, in a note, states that the twelfth man, who 
was free, means the twelfth mere Irishman who was free of the Corporation of Limerick. In 
Galwav it was ordered, " that Lieutenant-Colonel O'Shaughressy (in consideration of his allyance 
in blood to the whole towne, and for the good nature and affection that he and family doe bear 
it), and his posteritie sbali be hereafter freemen of this Corporation."— .ff«rrfi?n«H's Eistory of 


of Kerry. In the next year Conor O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, died, and his 
brother Gilla Dnv was inaugurated in his place. 

On the 26th of August, 1496, the king (Henry VII.) granted a pardon 
to Maurice, Earl of Desmond, for all his offences — he had also a grant of the 
Customs of Limerick.' 

In 1497 and 1498 a great famine prevailed through all Ireland, " so that 
people ate of food unbecoming to mention, and never before heard of as having 
been introduced on human dishes. "^ Corn was so scarce that a peck of wheat 
in Meath was sold at five lesser ounces of silver, a gallon of ale sixpence, and 
a barrel of oats in Ulster was worth a cow.^ The century closes with wars 
between the O'Briens and the rightful head of the Butlers, who were jealous 
of the support which the O'Briens afforded to Sir James Ormond, already 
referred to as an illegitimate son. Turlough O'Brien defeated the Butlers at 
IMoyahff in Ormond, or rather in Tipperary, not far from Cashel, after a 
bloody engagement. 



The sixteenth century, so full of deep importance to the destinies of the 
country, so remarkable for the many religious, political and domestic incidents 
and changes which took place in it, teems with important and startling events. 

1503. In the winter of this year Turlogh O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, 
bm-ned the county of Limerick and Cord-Maighe [i.e. along the river Maigue 
in the Barony of Coshma, to Limerick] "* 

The death of Donough O'Brien, the descendant of Donough Carbraigh, 
Lord of the district from Adare to Limerick, and from Baile-nua (NcAvtown 
in the parish of Kilkeedy) to Monasteraneuagh, Lord of Aherlagh and 
Coill-Beithne (Kilbeheny) " the fountain of the prosperity and afiluence of 
Munster,'' occurred in 1502. In this year, according to the Annals of 
Ulster, there was such inclement weather that it killed most of the cattle of 
Ireland, and prevented the husbandmen from tilling the earth. In the next 
year (1503) the Earl of Kildare went to England, and returned home with 
success, bringing with him his son, who had been in the custody of the 
King of England. Edmond Knight of Glynn died ; and Teige Boirneach 
of Burren, county Clare, and Murtogh O'Brien, who went with Owen 
OTlaherty into West Connaught against his kmsmen, Eory Oge and Donnell 
an baid or of the Boat, two sons of O'Elaherty, attacked the camp and 
carried away prizes and spoils. The sons of Mahon O'Brien and Owen 

' Rymer's Foedera. The Earl of Desmond made a submission to Thomas Radcliff, Earl of 
Essex, Lord Deputy of Ireland, at Limerick. 

' What little was known in these times in Ireland of natural history is evident from the fact 
that a camel which was sent by the King of England to one of the O'Briens, was regarded with 
perfect wonder, even by the better educated, who did not know what to designate the animal. 
We find the camel thus described in the Annals of the Four Masters : — 

" A wonderful animal was sent to Ireland by the King of England. She resembled a mare, 
and was of yellow colour, with the hoofs of a cow, a long neck, a verj' large head, a large tail, 
which was ugly and scant of hair. She had a saddle of her own. Wheat and salt were here her 
usual food. She used to draw the largest sledge burden by her tail. It used to kneel when 
passing under any doorway, however high, and also let her rider mount." 

' MSS. Annals quoted in Smith's History of Cork. * Annals of the Four Mastera. 


OTlalierty were slain by the O^Flaliertys, Tlie great battle of Knocktow, 
or the hill of the Battle-axes^ iii Clare Galway, about five miles north of • 
Galway, between the Lord Justice Garrett, the son of Thomas Earl of Kil- 
dare, and Mac WiUiam of ClanTickarde, and which events had been maturing, 
as we have already seen, was fought in the next year (1504). It is described 
by the Annalists as one of the most remarkable battles on record since the 
invasion of Ireland. A description of it, copied nearly word for word, from 
the Annals of Ulster, is given by the Four Masters ; which O^Donovan, in 
his note in reference to the account of the details of this sanguinary engage- 
ment, states that it is in bardic prose style, which sacrifices strength to 
sound, and sense to alliteration. The battle was occasioned by a private 
dispute between the Earl of Kildare and Ulick Burke, the Mac William, &c. 
of Clanrickarde, Avho was joined by O^Brien of Thomond, and the half of 
Munster. It is said that no Englishmen fell in the engagement ; and Moore^ 
adopts this assertion as a fact ; and in truth no English appeared in the 
battle — the beUigerents at both sides were Irish — viz. those of the Pale, 
under Kildare, and those of Connaught, under Mac WiUiam, Sir John Davies 
expresses surprise that so late as the reign of Henry VII. a battle so terrible 
should be undertaken to decide a mere private quarrel — without charge of the 
King — as stated in the Book of Howth. Glanricarde and his forces were 
overthrown — the number of the slain was enormous. But as we proceed, 
we shall see that Uhck Burke and the " Irish" determined to strike another 
blow, and that Monabraher, within the hberties of the city of Limerick, was 
selected for the fight. 

Our local annal of the next year, 1505, (2Ist Henry VII.) shows 
that the citizens reposed anything but safely within their walls, and that the 
means they took to protect themselves from pirates, who appear to have come 
up to the very watergates, were primitive indeed. William Harrold was 
Mayor for the second time; Nicholas Creagh and John Eochford were 
bailiffs; John White was Clerk of the Couri^ of Limerick (quere? Town 
Clerk) ; James Butler, Earl of Ormond, was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland ; 
when our authority, on the 13th of February, says,^ '' a great tri-oared 
galley, fitted out with all things necessary, was l)uilt for the purpose of 
guarding our port, and protecting the pubhc interests against the incursions 
of pirates.^^ The next year (1506) the Bridge of Port-Croisi, — a name which 
is yet preserved in the townland of Portcrush, situated on the Shannon, in 
the north-west end of the parish of CastleconneU, — was built by Turlough 
O'Brien ; and some few years afterwards, as we shall feee, the Earl of Kildare 
marched with his army to this bridge, Avhich he broke down, and encamped 
for the night, before the battle of Monabraher. — John Biu-ke, son of Ulick, 
" the noblest of the English in Ireland, a vessel filled with hospitality and 
truth, a link of steel in sustaining the battle," died. — Hemy VIII. now 
(1508) ascended the English throne; and events prove his anxiety to see 
more closely than any of his predecessors into the affairs of Ireland. In 
Limerick, we find that he laid the foundation of the Sexton family, which up 
to our own time, retain much of the lands which he gave to their ancestors. 
By new Letters Patent he constituted Garrett, Earl of Kildare, Lord Justice 
of Ireland, and intimated to him his father^s decease and his own succession 
to his kingdoms.^ Always aggressive, and uoav, more than ever sustained 
by Royal favor, an army was led into Munster by the Lord Justice of Ireland, 

• Moore's History of Ireland, vol. iii. p. 221. 2 Artluir MSS. 

> Vi''are's Annals of Ireland, ad. an. 1502, 1510. 


attended by the cliiefs of the English and Irish of Leinster. He erected a 
castle at Carrig-Citalj now Carrick-Kettle^ in the Barony of Small County^ 
county of Limerick, in desjaite of the Irish. O^Donnell followed with a 
small number of troops to assist him, through Meath, and went westward 
into Munster until he joined him at that place. Then they passed into Ealla, 
(Duhallow, county Cork), and they took the castle of Caen-tuirc (the head 
or perhaps hill of the boar — now Kanturk — see Smithes history of Cork, vol. 
II. c. 6) and plundered the country. Then proceeding into great Desmond, 
they took the castle of Paihs (a castle on an eminence near Laune Bridge, 
Killarney — ^Windel^'s Historical and Descriptive Notes of Cork, 2nd Ed. pp. 
386, 387), and another castle on the banks of the Noer Mang (Maine, near 
the Bay of Castlemaiue, county of Kerry), after which they returned into 
Limerick. They then mustered additional forces ; and the Geral dines of 
Munster, under the conduct of James, son of the Earl of Desmond, and all 
the English of Munster, and also McCarthy Reagh (Donald, son of Dermott, 
who was son of Fineen), Cormac Oge, who was the son of Cormac, son of 
Teige, and the Enghsh and Irish of Leinster, proceeded into Limerick. 
Turlough, the son of Teige O^Brien, Lord of Thomond, with all his forces, 
and M'Namara, the son of Silaedha, and the Clanrickarde, mustered another 
numerous army to oppose them. The Earl, i.e. the Lord Justice, marched 
with his army through Bealach-na-Fadbaighe, and Bealach-na-nghaimr, the 
old names of the roads to Portcroise, until he arrived at a wooden bridge, i.e. 
the bridge of Portcroise already referred to, which O'Brien had constructed 
over the Shannon ; and he broke down the bridge, and encamped for the 
night in the country. — O'Brien had encamped so near them, that they used 
to hear each other's voices during the night. On the morrow, the Lord 
Justice mustered his army, placing the English and Irish of IMunster in the 
van, and the Enghsh of Meath and Dublm in the rere, O'Donuell, and his 
smaU body of troops, joined the Enghsh of Meath and Dublin in the rere ; 
and they all took the short cut through ]\Ior-na-in-brather [Monabraher 
near Limerick] to Limerick. O'Brien attacked the English, and slew the 
Baron Kent and Barnwall at Ku'wickstown [now Cookstown, in Meath], and 
many other men of distinction not enumerated. The English army escaped 
by flight, and the army of O'Brien returned in triumph with great spoils. 
There was not, in either army, that day, a man who won more fame than 
O'Donnell.' The Four Masters, says O'Donovan, always praise an O'Donnell, 
at which we cannot be surprised, as founders of then- monastery.^ 

It is not our business to follow the fighting Earl through his successive 
campaigns against the Irish in Connaught and Leinster — thi'ough his crossings 
and re-crossmgs of the Shannon — the annals for many years teeming with 
relations of his warlike excursions ; suffice it to say that he worked Tvith a 
vengeance in the interest of his Royal master. In the year 1516, a 
war broke out among the Fitzgeralds, and James, the son of Maurice, laid 
siege to Loch Gur, in the barony of Small County, near Bruff, where the 
rums of a great castle, and other military works, erected by the Earls of 
Desmond, may yet be seen. The O'Briens of Thomond, joined by Pierce 

' Annals of the Four Masters, vol. v. pp. 304-5-6. 
_ 2 Ware gives another account of this battle ; but all tlie annalists agree in stating that the 
victory over the Earl was decisive— that night having decided the battle, he withdrew, the army 
(says Ware) still retaining their ranks, and the energy displayed by the Dalgais on the occasion 
inspired the Lord Justice with so much respect for the military genius of their prince, that he 
turned his arms to another quarter, and laid siege to the castle of Leira-ui-bhanain (the Leap) 
m Ely O'Carroll, belonging to the prince of that territory. 


Butler, and otliers of his CoufederateSj advanced to meet the Geraldine 
army, — and " when the son of the Earl perceived the nobles of the army of 
the great race of Brian approaching^ the resolution he arrived at was, not to 
come to an engagement with them, but to leave the town unharmed, and 
thus they parted -with each other/''' It was immediately after this that the 
Earl took the Leap Castle,^ which still exists under its old name, and is 
situated between Eoscrea and TuUamore. 




One reason of the constant hostilities of the princes of Thomond from this 
period down to the extinction of that Kingdom, is to be sought in the 
alHances formed by Conor na-Srona for his daughters, three of whom inter- 
married with members of the O^Donnell, De Bui'gh, and O^Ruarc families ;' 
and to these alliances are also attributable many of the disastrous conse- 
quences of the fatal battle of Knocktow. The limits prescribed by the 
space which we propose to occupy with the sequel of the History of Tho- 
mond for the term of the next thirty-five or thirty six years, will admit of 
only short notices of the principal events which occur in that interval ; while, 
for several contemporary occurrences in the local history we must refer to our 
Annals of Limerick. 

In the year 1522 a feud having arisen between O'Neill and O'DonneU, 
the sons of the King of Thomond, namely, Donogh and Teige, together 
with their kinsman Torlogh O'Brien, Bishop of Killaloe, proceeded to the 
North to the aid of O'Neill ; but the latter prince having been defeated 
before they could join him, the prince of Thomond and his troops were 
compelled to make a precipitate retreat, not halting until they reached the 
Curlew mountains, where the allies separated.* 

In the year 1523 this Teige O'Brien was killed at the battle of the ford 
of Camus.^ while attacking Piers Eoe, Earl of Ormond, who was then at 
war Avith the neighbouring dynast O'CarroU ; and his dead body was carried 
by his soldiers to the monastery of Ennis, where several of his race have 
found a resting place. 

In 1528 Torlogh Donn, the father of this prince died after a reign of 29 
years. He is highly lauded by the Pour Masters for " maintaining war 
against the EngHsh." He must have been regarded as a person of con- 
siderable consequence, for his name is included in a treaty entered into Avith 
the Earl of Desmond by Francis I. of Prance, to divert the attention of 
Henry VIII. of England, who was then leagued with the Emperor Charles 

' Annals of the Four Masters. 

' The great war between O'Douncll and O'Neill, in which the former was victorious, occupies 
several pages of the Annals, in 1522, and is interesting, chiefly as indicating the existence of 
the fiercest and most implacable feuds among the Irish. The O'Briens, Burkes, O'Connor Roe, 
O'Connor Don, M'Dermots, &c., joined O'Neill, whilst O'Donnell was supported by the forces in 
Kinnell Connell, viz., OT.oyle, O'Dogherty, the jMacSweenys, O'Gallaghers, &c. &c. But 
between the English in Ireland there were also fierce and implacable disputes. 

3 Historical Memoir of the O'Briens. 

* Annals of the Four Masters, who, as usual, favor the O'Donnells, the founder of their 

* On the Suir a little uorth of Cashel. 


against the French monarch. Torlogh Donn was succeeded by his eldest 
son Connor, his brother Donogh being nominated tanist, who died in 1531, 
and was succeeded by Murrough, who surrendered the Royalty to Henry 

The hatreds, jealousies and wars between the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds 
— the Enghsh in Ireland — the latter, however, "more Irish than Irish 
themselves,''^ are written on a dark and dreary page of our national annals. 
To dwell on the state of affairs between the English in Ireland at this period 
would be merely, mutatis mutandis, giving a picture of the wars that pre- 
vailed among the Irish themselves. We proceed, therefore, to develope the 
progress of domestic affairs at this time. In the year 1534 a remark- 
able occurrence took place, which shows that Galway at this time was in a 
position superior to ours, commercially and financially. We are told by the 
Historian of Galway that the city of Limerick was from an early 
period of our history jealous of the growing trade and prosperity of Galway, 
although the latter long had retained its superiority. Ttus jealousy was shown 
on many occasions; but latterly broke out violently in consequence of a 
mercantile dispute which happened some time previously to 1524, between 
David Comyn, a citizen of Limerick and some merchants of Galway. Comyn 
complained that he could have no justice administered to him in Galway ; 
and waiting for an opportunity he seized the person of Ambrose Lynch 
Fitzjames, one of the inhabitants of the town, and kept him close prisoner, 
until he was ransomed for a large sum of money. In consequence of this 
outrage hostilities commenced between the city and town, and great depreda- 
tions were committed both by sea and land ; until the people of Limerick, 
weary of the contest, dispatched two of their citizens, Christopher Arthur 
and Nicholas Arthur, to Galway, to conclude a peace ; or as the record of 
this transaction expresses it, "to pacyficat and put awaye all manner of 
adversitye, rancour and inconveniences that have rysen or insurged between 
the city and town and habitantes of the same.''"' Upon their arrival in 
Galway the Mayor, bailiffs and commonalty assembled in the town-house, 
and with one assent elected Walter and Anthony Lynch FitzThomas, to 
conclude a " perpetual peace and concorde" with the deputies of Limerick. 
The terms being agreed upon, a pubhc meeting was convened on the 7th of 
May, 1524, and articles were ratified on both sides ; and apparently to the 
mutual satisfaction of all parties ; but as treaties are more frequently entered 
into than inviolably observed, so the people of Galway complained that those 
of Limerick stiU indulged their resentment, although every matter in dispute 
was supposed to have been peaceably settled ; and charged them with 
having again involved the town in fresh troubles, by insidiously instigating 
Pierce, Earl of Ormond, to make a demand for prisage wines, an impost 
which had never been theretofore paid or demanded in Galway. 

Limerick, in the end, owning to poKtical causes, gained the ascendancy, 
which it holds to this day. 

These rivalries between Galway and Limerick prevailed for many years. 
The "tribes-'-' of the one were jealous of the sturdy Anglo-Irish of the other; 
but though at this time Galway was one of the finest towns in Ireland — 
spacious, well built, and well walled, with a great trade with the south of 
Europe, and particularly with Spain, and sustained by the spirit and energy 
of its early settlers, who were always a terror to the Irish of West 
Connaught, it feU away, whilst Limerick increased in importance, and rapidly 
progressed, became superior, and retained its superiority. 1521-1522 (13 


Henry 8) David Comyn was for the second time Mayor of Limerick; 
Nicholas, son of Thomas Fitzwilliam Arthur, was Mayor for the second time 
in this year also : William Panning and Andrew Harold were Baihffs. 
David Comyn died during his Mayoralty of a terrible pestilence, which pre- 
vailed all over the city ; and on the 4th of September he was succeeded by 
Nicholas Arthur. Dr. Arthur does not fail to remark that it was now the 
supreme Pontiff conferred on Henry 8th the title of " Defender of the Paith,^'' 
in consequence of " the book he pubhshed against Luther -" and that " the 
Turks invaded the island of Ehodes.-'^' 

It was in this reign (28th Henry 8th, cap. 15) it was enacted that none of 
the king's subjects shall be shaven above the ears, or wear the hau* on their 
heads like long locks called Glibhes, or have any hair on their upper hps 
called a Crommeal, or wear any shirt, smock or kercJier, Beudel Neckerchotir , 
Mocket or Linnen cap coulr'd with saffron, nor wear above seven yards of 
cloth in their slivrt or smock, and no woman to wear any coat or kirtle tuckM 
up, or embroidered with silk or laid with Usker, after the Irish fashion ; and 
none to wear any mantles, coat or hood, made after the Irish fashion ; a for- 
feiture of the thing so worn (to be seized by any of the king's true subjects) 
and also the penalties following : — 

Every Lord Spiritual and Temporal, 

Every Knight and Esquire, 

Every Gentleman or Merchant, 

Every Preeholder and Yeoman, 

Every husbandman. 

And every other person. 

To be recovered in any of the king's courts and to be divided between the 
King and Prosecutor, Proviso, not to extend to any woman, herds or horse- 
boys wearing a mantle, nor any persons on their journey, or upon Hue and 

In the rapid progress of events we see how Henry changed not only his 
pohcy but his faith, how those religious institutions, which flourished so 
vigorously when he was fulminating against Luther, soon afterwards were 
doomed by him to suffer spoliation and ruin, and how the properties which 
went to the alleviation of human misery and woe, under the care of the 
monies and friars, and in support of the old faith, were handed over to those 
who submitted to his will and changed their principles at his pleasure, 

Henry proceeded in his active courses strengthening his power in Ireland. 
On the 19th of November, 1534, Thomas Butler was made Baron of Cahir, 
and in the beginning of the next year Maurice O'Brien and Ulick Bourke, 
induced by the example and success of the Earl of Tyrone, went to England 
to wait upon the king, having made their submissions, and sui'rendered their 
estates. O'Brien obtained a grant of all his lands in Thomond, and all the 
Abbeys and patronage in the king's gift witliin his precincts to him and his 
heirs male ; and he was made Baron of Inchiquin, to him and his heirs, 
and created Earl of Thomond for life, with a remainder to Donough O'Brien 
and his heirs for ever, who for the present was made Baron of Ibricane but 
whether this Donough were nephew or natural son of the Earl's is not very 
plain. This Lord of Ibricane had also an annuity of twenty pounds per 

> Arthur MSS. 2 Irisb Acts of Parliament. 












annum granted to him in tail, and tlie Abbey of Insula Canonicorum, and 
half the Abbey of Clare ; and the king bore the Earl of Thomond^s charges 
and gave him an order to be of the Privy Council. As for Ulick Bourke, 
he had his charges borne, and was created Earl of Clanricarde, and his 
estates were regranted to him, and the Abbeys and patronage of aU benefices 
Avithin his precincts. 

Thus ended the kingdom of Thomond under Murrough O'Brien, the 
fifteenth and last of its princes who had been elected chief, by Tanistry to 
the prejudice of his nephew Donough, to whom in compensation he resigned 
the Lordship of Ibricane. Murrough is at present represented by his hneal 
descendant Lord Inchiquin. 




The English convocation and the Enghsh Parliaments having acknowleged 
the supremacy of Henry YIIL, with a ready servihty, the new head of the 
Church expected to find in Ireland an equal subserviency, but in this he was 
grievously disappointed. A most unexpected and decided resistance arose 
in the opposition of the Catholic Bishops, of whom, a few only were induced 
to submit to the new orders of things. We give the events in the original 
words of oui' authorities.^ 

Ap. Pariy, who had been in the service of Lord Leonard Gray, writes in 
1535, respecting his jom-ney from Cork to Limerick, to secretary Cromwell, 
after he had visited Callan, Clonmel, &c., stating that they had removed 
from Cork to Mallow, and there encamped by a river side, and on the follow- 
ing day went to KilmaUock, and lay there that night — he describes it as a 
very "poore towne;" and the next day came to Limerick, "and of treuthe 
O'Breyn was cum downe, and lay within three myl of Lemeryk, and as the 
saying was with a great ost ; and hurlyd down the wodes in this way, as we 
schold have gone into hys counterey, and had forsakyu two of hys castels, 
herd by Lemeryk ; and herd that we were so ny, he went into the moun- 
tayns from us, for fere of ordynance : and when that he herd tell that we 
had no ordynance, then he restored his men into hys castels agajoi, with 
such ordynance as he had of his own. And without ordynance to bett the 
one pyll we cowld never enter weU into hys cunterey. Therefore my Lorde 
Jamys thought best to recoyll bake agayn, and to bring the Desemontes, 
and Cormack Oge with his cumpany, to a say, ore that hee wold pase eny 
further.'''' He adds, that in Limerick they had " very good cher, but nat 
nothing lyke the cher we had in Corke.''^ They parted eight miles off to a 
place (Monasternenagh) , "the wyche is after the order of Grenwyche," 
and my Lorde of Kyldare was the founder of it, for he hath a castel and 

' State Papers of Henry VIII, 


landes evyn tlier fast by, and ther met with my Lorde Jamys, hys brother- 
ilaw, whyche is O^Bren^s sone," (Donough, nephew of Murrougli O'Brien.) 
The account of the interview between Donough and his brother-in-law, Lord 
James, describes the latter as telling the former that he had married his 
sister, forsaken his father, his uncle, and all his friends and country, to come 
to him to help to do the king a service. He had been sore unrewarded, had 
no gains — had nothing to live upon. If it pleased the king to take him 
into his service, he would come into the country and bring with him a piece 
of ordnance, to take the Castle of Carrigogimnel,' and that the king would 
give to him that which never had belonged to an Englishman for two hundred 
years, he said he desired no aid but the Enghsh captain and a hundred 
Enghshmen, to pursue his father and his uncle, who were His Majesty's 
enemies, and the Irish who were ever the enemies of the English. He 
pledged himself he would hurt no Englishman, but do aU he could against 
the Irish and the king's opponents. And in all such land as he should 
conquer, it was his wish that the king should plant Englishmen, the land to 
be holden of the king, according to his pleasure ; and he further promised 
to discard all " Yrsyche Easchyons," and to order himself after the "Yng- 
lysche laws,'' and all he could make or subdue. He besought a reply. 

' Carrigogunnel Casti-e. — This Castle is four miles distant from Limerick, to the S.W., 
bordering on the demesne of Tervoe, the residence of the Eight Hon. Wm. Monsell, M.P. Mr. 
Crofton Croker, in his Antiquarian Eesearches in the South of Ireland, says it is one of the 
largest castles he remembers to have seen in Ireland. It stands on an abrupt limestone rock,* and 
commands an extensive view, across the Shannon, of the County Clare, and the low grounds 
termed " Corcass Land," which form the banks of the river. Its building is ascribed to the 
O'Brien family. Through stipulation and treachery it was lost more than once by the followers 
of the Earl of Desmond, and those sent to reduce him and the countrj'. At the Siege of Limerick, 
in 1690, it was garrisoned by 150 men, adherents of James II., but surrendered without resis- 
tance to Major General Scravenmore, " the leaving these detachments in such places," observes 
Dean Story, in his History of the Civil Wars, " being very unaccountable, since they had a 
mind to defend them no better." The castle was deemed so tenable a position that it was considered 
expedient to destroy it, and it was accordingly blown up, together with Castle Connell. Dean 
Story received the very large sum of £160 for the purchase of gunpowder to ruin those fortresses. 
The dilapidated ruins tell the effects of the explosion. Immense fragments of the walls and 
towers lie scattered around in picturesque confusion. " It is a matter of difficulty," adds Mr. 
Croker, " to trace the original plan." Xear this Castle Charles Johnson, the author of Chrj'sal, 
or the Adventures of a Guinea, and other works, was born in 1719, and received his education 
from the excellent teacher, the Rev. R. Cashin, who was superior of the Limerick Protestant 
Diocesan School in the early part of the last century. 

The Vol. 1425 of the Harleian MSS. contains the following pedigree of " O'Brien of Carry- 
Connell, in the Countie of Limericke." 



I of whom the 

Brian Duff. E. of Thomond 

I and others descended. 



Brian Duff, of 

Carigconnell, in the 
Countie of Limerick, 
lived in anno 1G15. 

• A large portion of the rock is of a basalitic nature. 


Parry adds, that old Sir John of Desmond, " who cane spek very good 
Ynglysche" arrived on the same day; and the parley was postponed for that 
day fortnight at " Yowgholl." 

In a letter dated from Limerick on the 9th of August, 1536 :' The 
Council of Ireland write to Cromwell, that Donough O'Brien, O'Brien^s 
eldest son, who had married the daughter of the Earl of Ossory, told what 
had been stated in the letter of Stephen Ap. Parry, of his desire to serve 
the Enghsh and possess Carrigogunnel, and set to the reformation in those 
quarters — the Deputy put an English ward of soldiers in the castle, and 
being there they consulted together as to the winning and breaking of 
O'Brien's Bridge — " wherein we thought the said O'Brene's sonnes ayede 
and conducte so necessary, as we supposed, that, havynge the same, we 
shud with the les difficultie achyve our purposes." In order to attain this 
dignity the council states, that the Castle of Carrigogunnel, "which had 
been inhabited by the O'Briens for 300 years before," was given by inden- 
ture to Donough O'Brien, " to be kept under us during the king's highness 
pleasure." — " After which conclusion takyn the said castell by tradyment, 
was takyn again by the persons which had possession thereof before — but 
we trust shall lytel prevayl them, but that the Deputies conclusion and army, 
and the promises thereon shall take effect." The letter proceeds to state, 
that on Friday they marched Avitli aU the army, with demiculverins, and such 
other ordnance as they had towards the bridge, and by the conduct of the 
said Donough and his friends, they were brought to it in a secret and un- 
known way, on this side of the water, A\^here never English used nor carts 
went before, whereby they achieved the progress with less danger than they 
could have done on the other side. On Saturday they reached the bridge, 
and after the army was encamped, the Deputy and gunners made a recon- 
noissance. On this side was a strong castle, "builded all of hewen marbell," 
and at the other side a castle, but not of such force, both built within the 
Avater, but not much distant from the land. At this end the O'Briens had 
broken four arches of the Bridge at the end next the land. The gunners 
fired all day at the castle, but with no effect, "for the wal was at lest 12 or 
13 fote thick," and both the castles were well warded with the gunners, 
gallowglas and horsemen, "having made such fortifications of timber and 
hoggsheades of earthe, as the lyke have not been seen in tliis lande." They 
had a great piece of iron, "which shot buylees as great in maner as a 
mannes hede.'^ They had also a ship piece, a " Portingall. piece,'"' "certayne 
hagbushesses," and hand-guns. The Deputy seeing the ship-piece no avail, 
ordered that each man should make a faggot a fathom in length, to fill that 
part of the water between the land and the castle, and desired ladders to be 
made ; which done, he appointed certain of his own retinue and a company 
of " Mauster Saynclows'^ to give the assault ; by which they carried the 
castle, the defenders escaping at the other side ; and having done so they 
broke down the bridge. [A letter^ of William Body to Cromwell gives the 
credit of the capture to Ossory.] Two of the army were slain, several 
were wounded ; while the timber of the bridge was loosing, the Mayor of 
Limerick, Edmond Sexten, with about 30 others who were standing on it 
at the time fell, but were not injured. Gray also gives a long account of 
the above achievements to Cromwell. 

Henry VIII. in a letter to the town of Galway, in which letter the Irish 

' State Papers. 2 State Papers. 


customs of clothing, &c., are forbidden, and in which he takes from malefac- 
tors the sanctuary of the Friars Minors, &c., in and near that town, and calls 
upon the justice to bring them to punishment — proceeds to say, " More- 
over, yf O'Brene, or any other Irysheman, be at Avar -ndth our deputie, or our 
subgietes of our Cittie of Lymerycke, that in no wyse, by any coloure, practyse, 
or covyne, ye suffer no vytals, iron, sault, or other commoditie, to passe from 
you to theym, dureing the tyme of their contencion till they shall be perfectly 
reconcyled, upon payne of your allegeannces ; and alwayes that ye obsarve the 
artycles before written, specially concernyng the keepeiug of markettes, and 
that none of you resorte with anny merchandyce amongjoist Iryshemen at 
anny tyme. And where we be informed that at such seasons as strangers re- 
frayne within the havyn of Lymerycke, certayne of you foresttale the market 
of our said cittie, alurying and procuryng the stranger merchauntes to repayre 
oute of the havjii of Lymerycke to you, offering theym avauntage above the 
profere of the sayd citie, to ther gret disadvanytage and commoditie, andyn- 
haunsing the pryce of foren and alyen merchaundyses, to the profit of alyens : 
we therefor woll and commaunde you, that you do not provoke anny mer- 
chaundise aryving in theyr havyn from you to theym." He commanded that 
he should hear no further complaint on this behalf, or in any of the 
premises if they intended his favors. 

In the same year Cowley, writing to Cromwell on the estabHshment of the 
king^s dominion in Ireland, says : — 

" Then a thousand to arive at Lymyrilc, and the Erl of Ossery, and his son, 
and power to joyne with them, and first to wyn the pyles and Casteles from 
O'Dwyer (chief of Kilnemanna, west of Owney), and next that to w}ti the Cas- 
tele and toA\Tie of the Enagh (Nenagh, in Tipperary), and to builde and en- 
habite the towne, and so to pursue all the Irishry at this side of the water of 
the Sheynan, and to wyn O'Bryn^s Bridge that standeth upon the same water. 
Then to peruse all Clancullen (the ancient barony of Clancullen was situated 
between Limerick and Killaloe, now formuig part of the barony of Tidlagh) 
in OTbryne^s comitree, and to win the pyles and holdes, and specelly the strong 
castele called Bon Raytte (Bum*atty), eight myles fi-om Lymerick, on the 
river of Lymerick — consequently to make a strougholde of Clare, and to 
enhabit accordingly ; and to make two other baronies in the midst of O^Brien's 
couutreey. There are piles enough in that count eray alread}^ so that there 
needeth no more than to enhabite.''^ 

Thomas Allen, in the same year, writes a long letter to Cromwell on the 
subject of the Lord Deputy's expedition for the fortifying and re-edifymg of 
Woodstock and the bridge of Athy. After giving an account of the expedition, 
he says, " And his Lordship went to Kilkenny, where he met the Erl of 
Ossorye and MacGdphatrick, where he and Omore were contendid to remayne, 
and goo to Dublin with my Lord, and ther to abide his and his counsaLle''s 
order, and to put in pledgis for performance thereof, and to attend upon my 
Lord in this joumaie. And from thens departed the Chief Justice, and the 
Maiour of Limerick (Edmond Sexten) to sj)eke Avith O^Brene and the Erie 
of Dcsmonde, who have confethered togeder.""^ 

In a long letter from the Lord Deputy and Council to Cromwell, written 
from Dublin the 23rd day of November, the journey of Munster is said to 
have taken fruit and success, &c. &c. " For undoubtedly the pretended Earl 
of Dcsmonde, after diverse communications had betwxt him, the ]\Iaior of 
Lymerick, the Chief Justice, and the Master of the Rolles, at severall tymes, 
condescended as well to delyver his too sonnes in hostage, and to fynde the 


Vicomit Bariy^ the Lord Rooche, Thomas Butler FitzEdmond, John Butler, 
broder to the Baron of Dunboyne, Gerald M'Shane of Drommanaugh, and 
djverse others^ to be bound for him in a 1200 marcks, that he shook! not 
oonl)' obey the Kinge^s lawes, and cause thaym to be obeyd everywher under 
his rule, but also as well to suffer the Kinge's revenues to be levied there, as 
upon the title and claim of James FitzMorice to the Earldome, to abide 
thorder and judgement of the Deputie and Counsaill ; and percase the same 
James FitzMorice were adjudged Erie, he to suffer him to enjoy the Earl- 
dome accordinglie ; with diverse other articles, comprised in a prayor of 
indentors concluded thereupon, &:c. &c." 

In 1537 a letter from the Lord Deputy and Council to Henry YIII, 
they state " for asmuch of your revenues as appertaiued to the Earl of Ealdare 
in the countie of Lj^merick, your Grace hath notliing of it, nor shall nat 
have untiD. the pretended Earl of Desmond be at some poynte ; of whose 
offers, I your Graces Deputy, have at severale tymes advertized your Highness, 
and your Counsaile, to the intente I mought know yoiu* pleasure therein, 
whereof hitherto I have not been advertized/'' And after speaking of the 
burjdng act, the expulsion and the destruction of the tenants, the writer 
goes on to state, " trustin there wol be few wastes after this year, if your 
Grace ensure our devises in too poynts. One is, no man in this countrie woll 
manure and enhabite your, ne other mans landes, especiallie to any fruit- 
ful purpose, onles he may have a securitie of continuance therein, so as, 
when he hath edified the same he shall not be expelled from it/' This 
letter is dated from Dubhn the 20th of April, 1537, and to those landlords 
who do not acknowledge tenant-right, we earnestly recommend its perusal, 
as an important fact in favor of fixity of tenui-e. 

On the 28th of June, 1537, Lord Leonard Grey arrived in Limerick, 
where he remained a week, and of his doings here he gives a detailed 
account to his royal master. He had already received the submission of 
O'Carroll of Ely, of O'Kennedy of Ormond, of Maclbrien of Arra, of 
O'jMulryan of Owney, as well as of MacWilliam of Clanrickarde. He 
summoned the Mayor and his " brothern" before him, and acting in the 
spirit of the instructions which he had received from the Councd of" Dublin, 
he had the Mayor and members of the Corporation sworn, according to the 
tenor of the act of suj)remacy, and further to abjm-e the power of the Poj)e. 
He moreover commanded the Mayor to have all the commonalty of the city 
likewise sworn and to certify the fact to the Court of Chancery. He states 
that " without stopp or gruge the confirmed them sylves.'''' After this he 
adds, he called before him the Bishop of Limerick, not Bishop William Casey, 
who was, after apostatising, appointed Bishop of Limerick, but John Coyn^ 
or Quin, and had him sworn in like manner, a fact which appears the 
more singular, and of which very grave doubt exists, because Quin had been 
promoted to the see against the wishes of King Hemy, who laboured 
earnestly in favor of Walter WaUesley who was afterwards appointed to 
Kildare.2 Coyn or Quin had assisted at a synod which was held in Limerick 
by Edmund Butler, Archbishop of Cashel, in 1524, and his zeal for the 
interests of his religion had been manifested on various important occasions. 
Gray further states that he commanded him to have all his clergy sworn. On 
this occasion Connor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond, was present, and promised 
to serve against Morrough, the Tanist^ who owned the country around O'Brien's 

> State papers. 2 Ware's Bishops. 


Bridge. This Connor O'Brien died in 1539, and was the last of the 
race of Brian Boroimhe who up to the hour of his death exercised regal 
functions in the ancient kingdom of Thomond.' During his stay in Limerick, 
Gray impeached certain of the merchants of the city of treason for \dctualling 
and maintaining Morogh O'Brien and other " Iryshe Eebels/' Stephen 
Harold, Treasurer of the city ; Pierce, Walter Edmund and James Harold, 
merchants, Thomas and Bartholomew Strytch, merchants, and Eobert Lewis, 
merchant, were among the number. The property of the treasurer (Stephen 
Harold) was confiscated, the others named were imprisoned, for the Lord 
Deputy resolved to carry things with a high hand in his deahngs vnth the 
citizens. 2 

On the next day, James of Desmond, and O'Brien with their retinue 
came to him, and on the ' 8th of July, he removed with them into Morrogh 
O'Brien's country, and there took his castle of Ballyconuel,^ and Clare 
[Clare More], invaded, burnt and destroyed Morrogh's country that day. 
On the morrow, because he Avould not conform to good order or reformation 
towards the king. Gray encamped that night at Clare castle,'* and upon the 
next day James of Desmonde and O'Brien departed ; and then he proceeded 
to Clanrickarde, where he encamped that night, and the 10th of July, 
repaired to a castle called Bally Clare, which he rifled and not chalice or 
cross left in it belonging to Eichard Oge Burgh, which " did much hurt to 
your towne of Galway," " and the same dyd take and deliver to Ullyck 
Oborgh, now lately made Capitayn of that comitre" [and knighted by Gray] . 
He remained eight days in Galway, where he was entertained by the Mayor, 
and Ulick Burke gave all the "Iryshe retinue," that was with him in 
his countrey, " frelye mete, drynk, and lodging. Lyck order, as I toke with 
the Mayor of Lymyryck, hys brothern, and the Busshop as touching theyr 
othes to your Majestic, and the refusall of the usurped jaower of the Buss- 
hopp of Eome, lyck order toke with the Mayor of Galway, and his brothern 
and the Busshop." About this time, it would appear a serious dispute 
arose between the Deputy and Edmond Sexten, who had hitherto been very 
good friends. We take from the Arthur MSS. an important item of intelli- 
gence, which goes to show hov/ matters stood in this instance, and Avhich 
gives an account of the achievements of Sexten on a very memorable 
occasion : — 

In the 27th and 28th Henry 8th : Edmond Sexten beuig Mayor, O'Brien's ' 
Bridge was destroyed, by which the robbers of Thomoud rushed into the 
rest of the Province of Munster and safely returned Anth their preys. This 
Edmond Sexten was born in Limerick, but descended from the family of the 
Sesnans in Thomond. He passed over into England where he became sewer 
of the king's chamber from whom he obtained in the late catastrophes of 
rehgion two monasteries in Limerick, one of the Holy Cross, and the other 
of St. Prancis with all its funds and profits. At length the citizens being 
offended, having obtained the royal letters, he was admitted into the Mayoralty 

' O'Donoughue's Historj' of the O'Briens. ' State Papers. 

' The Castle is called by Gormanstowne Ballycongle, and by Ap. Parry, Ballyconnell. 
According to his narrative, the garrisons both of it and of C'lare Castle fled at the sight of 

* The " Confession" states that they remained at Clare two nights, and that at their removing 
from thence there began a great schism, and a dangerous fraj', between Desmond and the Lord 
Deputy, for O'Mulryan's hostage ; in so much that the former put himself in array to have given 
battle, were it not that Sir Thomas Butler, being familiar and bold with Desmond, with great 
address and difficulty, took up the matter with them. And Desmond, being pacified with Butler, 
returned home. 


which he valiantly executed, for when Lord Leonard Grey, Viceroy, conducted 
the Royal army into Limerick with a determined resolution to slaughter all 
the inhabitants in one night, I know not for what reason, except that he 
bore a mortal hatred against them for their constancy in the orthodox rehgion, 
and he deceitfully removed out the Mayor and the better part of the city 
bands to assault Carrigogunnel they being displeased at the peace, the 
Mayor having somewhat discovered the Viceroy's treacherous contrivance flies 
into the city at midnight, hastens almost out of breath -with his guards to the 
Viceroy's house, knocks loudly at the gate, the porter having delayed and refused 
him entrance, he threatened instantly to tear the gates asunder. He was then 
admitted, and having found theViceroyandaU the commanders and men at arms 
of the army waiting for the destined hour of slaughter, he asked theViceroy what 
was the meaning of that unusual appearance of armed men, pipers and 
drummers thus assembled, who did not give him genuine but feigned reasons. 
Lest by the loss of time the intended wickedness might not be brought to 
maturity, the Viceroy advised him immediately to return into the city, but 
he fully detected the hidden contrivance of the treacherous general slaughter, 
and produced from tlie inside of the bosom of his soldier^s coat the king's 
patent which he had a good while by him ; and due respect being given he 
ordered it to be read quite over, by virtue of which he positively commanded 
the Viceroy in the king's name that he should not attempt anything secretly, 
unknown to and without consulting him in his government of the Province 
of Munster ; and that he should not presume to devise anything to the pre- 
judice of that royal city committed to his care (for that was the tenour of 
the Royal letters) and he declared if the Viceroy had ordered any to stir up 
tumults in the city, that he would in the first place restrain and set them in 
order. Thus did he deliver the city from the threatened destruction. ^ 

The Council of Ireland writing to Cromwell in 1538 state that under- 
standing Edmond Sexton^ intended at this season, to repair thither, they had 
thought good for their discharge, to acquaint his Lordship Cromwell partly 
of his demeanour ; upon contention moved between him and the citizens of 
the city of Limerick. Sexten was accused before the Council of high treason, 
for which being committed into ward in the King's Castle of DubUn, he alleged 
before them that he proposed to go to England to instruct the king and 
Cromwell, " of weighty matters touching the kinges honour, and an highe 
advancement of his revenues ;" for which causes he requii'ed to be out on 
bail. The council having heard the particulars of his complaint accounted 
them of small effect to trouble either the king or his council. In this letter 
the council throw very great doubts on the sincerity of Sexten, who, they 
allege, was not successful in his proceedings against Desmond and O'Brien, 
and they state that " the truth is his coming thider (as we be informed) is 
specially to accuse and disturb the citizens of Lynierick, for malice and dis- 
pleasure he beare to them ; among whom, ondoubtedhe he hath moved great 
dissension and displeasure. And considering the situation of the sayd cittie 
to be in the mydes, as it were, of the Kingis rebelles and ennemyes, with whom 
we knowe they must by and sell^ or elles lacke all viteUes, and tracte of 
merchandises ; we thiiike the inhabitantes of it to be worthy praise and com- 
mendation, both for ther obedience to the laws, and that they kepe the citie 

■ Arthur MSS. 

"^ This name is f5pelled indifferently Sexten and Sexton. In the paper referring to him, as well 
as to the events of the period, I prefer using the old and somewhat rngged Btvl.- of the chronicles 

of the timoc ^° 


alwaies in that wise, that it is the onlie key, releve, and socour to the Kinge, 

his Deputie, and army, against all men, whensoever they com thider. And 
whatsoer the inhabitants be, as, in good faith, having respect, where they 
dwell, we take them to be good, it were a shrewde policie to subvert the 
hoole citie for a few eivel. And they, on thother side, beare him dis- 
pleasure, and, as they sale, they moche abhorre him, because he is an Irishman 
of blode, and (as they saie) he useth himself accordmg to his nature. How- 
beit he is made denizen and free by the King, so as he hath been chargour 
there, contrary to the Inglishe statutes and their hberties. They saie also that 
he, his brederen, kynsmen, and adherantes, been mere Geraldines, and that 
parte of his brederen were slajme in defence of the Castele of Maynothe ; so 
as in respecte of his Irish blode and corrupt affection to traytours, they 
saye they doe not trust him.^ 

In an extract fi"om the minutes of Council,^ with the King's commands, 
it is stated that as the law is continually kept at Dublin, and that between 
Dabhn and Limerick the distance is 120 miles, and so many dangers between, 
" and as few or none dare passe without some strength which poore suitors 
have not,''' it is suggested that a Council of a President and four Councillors 
\mder a Secretary be established ; the President to have diet for himself, 
and the rest £200 yearly. Every Councillor for his entertainment, and 
finding his own horse and servant, £50 yearly, and the Secretary of the 
Council, £26:13:4 yearly, with such reasonable fees as the country may 
bear. The Archbishop of Cashel is suggested as a meet President. 

In a later letter from the Council of Ireland to Secretary Cromwell,' 
Limerick is represented as a city situated among Irish and English rebels, 
pretending to have privileges of the King as other maritime cities, to buy and 
sell, and as a place that deserves to be protected only because it is a succour 
and a refuge always for the King's Deputy, when he wars against the dis- 
obedient Desmonds, Brians, Boui-kes, and many other like in those parts. 
In this letter it is stated that, owing to the "misinformation" given by 
Edmond Sexten to the Lord Deputy during his last journey in Munster, 
more damage and inquietude had happened among the citizens than any 
anticipated honor or profit to the King. 

There is no doubt, notwithstanding all these complaints, that Sexten suc- 
ceeded in retaining the good graces of his royal master, for, in 1538-9, 29th 
and 30th of Henry,he granted by PrivySeal "to theKing's well beloved servant 
Edmond Sexten, sewer of his chamber," of the Monastery, Priory or cell of 
St. Mary-house, the site, ambit, or ground thereof, and all lordships, manors, 
lands, advowsons of churches, tithes, chapels, chantries, spiritual and tem- 
poral, thereunto belonging, within the precinct of Limerick, city or county, 
in as large and ample manner as Sir Patrick Harold, late Prior, held the 
same, together "vvith all the goods and utensils of the house ; to hold to said 
Sexten and the heirs male of his body, by the service of one knight's fee ; 
with directions for the issue of a commission for the dissolution of said 
monastery. And, 34th Henry VIIL, we find grant from the King to 
Edmond Sexten and his assigns, for hfe, of £8 sterling, annually, which the 

' The Corporation of Limerick subsequently made a Complaint to Cromwell against Sexten, 
upon which the Irish Council, on the 20th of May, 1539, reported, that though he was the king's 
servant, they could not vindicate his conduct. The Complaint is in the Chapter House, and the 
report in the State Paper Office ; and in the Lambeth Library is a memorial of his services, before, 
during, and after his mayoralty in Limerick State Papers. 

^ StJtte Papers. 3 State Papers. 


Kmg and his ancestors heretofore received in the name of fee farm, out of 
the city of Limerick. 

The execution of the decrees of Henry could have no firmer partisan than 
Edmond Sexton, judging from the high estimation in which he was held by 
his unscrupulous master. He soon had his revenge of Lord Leonard 
Grey, who had been unsparing in his destruction of the shrines and sacred 
places of the land. Among other fell atrocities he caused the most precious 
shrine of St. Bridget, St. Patrick and St. Columba, which was in Down, to 
be burned and the ashes thereof to be cast to the "vvinds^ : — 
" I?t Burgo Bimo tumulo tunudantur in %no, 
Brigida, Patricius atque Columba juw.^' 


" Brigid, Patrick and Columb of renown. 

Were all three entombed in the town of Down.^' 

This outrage took place in the year 1538, but the divine vengeance quickly 

fell upon him for this and for other crimes j his head was cut off in London 

in the year 1541. 

Sexten now grew in favor every day. The letters which passed • between 
him and the king show that a strong mutual feeling of consideration and 
fidelity prevailed ; and that the services performed by him were of such a 
nature as to win the substantial recognition of his Majesty. 

Desmond, through Sexten^'s influence, -wTote the following letter :— - 

To His Soveraigne Liege Lord the King's Majestie. 
" Be it known to all men by these presents that I, James Pitzjohn of 
Desmond, bynde me, mine heyres, my goodes moveable and unmoveable, my 
fideltie and trueth to my frend Edmond Sexten, to fulfill and performe all 
such things as the said Edmond shall speake to the King's Majestie and his 
counceU in England as hereafter follows : 

First — That I shall bringe to the K}Tige's Majestie^'s cofiers aU the cheeffe 
rents that O'Bryen and Mac I Bryen Arra hath upon the country of 
Lymmerike ; and also all the Abbey lands and goodes that are in Mounster 
to the Kyng^'s hands, and I and my friends and servants shall take them to 
fearme. Also that all the Lordes and Gentlemen of Mounster, Englishe and 
Lishe, shall pay a certain chiefe rent to the Kyng's Majestie, so as it shall 
be a great revenue. — And for the more performance of the premises, I, the 
said James, subscribed this with my hand and sett to it my scale the 20th 
day of June.''' 

Henry addresses " to our m.ji\e and well beloved Sir John Desmond within 
our land of Ireland," a letter of " righte heartie and cordial thankes ;" and 
states that he has " conceived and graven the same in our hert and shall 
retorn and sucede to you no little profitt and advancement." The king 
writes a much longer and more particular letter to Desmond, in which he 
acquaints him fully of all that has been told him by his " trustie and well 
beloved servant, Edmond Sexten, of the humble submission with a promise 
to observe towards us from henceforth such faythe and loyaltie as to your 
duty of alleygeance appertaineth, and shall be consonant to the office of a 
true and faithful subject, which we accept greatlie to our consolaticion, and 
give unto you therefor our righte harty thankes and condigne." " The king 
says Dr. Thomas Arthur^ wrote another letter to James Fitzjohn of Desmond, 

' " But the walls as well of the cathedral as of the little chapel, where the most sacred relicks 
were deposited, exist to this day, as I saw them in the year 1 751." — Dc Burgo^ Hib. Dom. p. 242, 
* Arthur MSy, 


verbatim with his patent letter, only he accused him of assisting " the rebell 
Thomas Fitzgerald which much offended the Kynge and his commonwell in 
Ireland." Ilis Majesty wrote a letter in Latin, of Avhich language he was 
an accomplished master, in which he speaks in the highest terms of Edmond 
Sexten, and states " that Edmond Sexton, his dearly beloved, Avill tell him 
(Sir John of Desmond) more fully his minde on the affairs respecting which 
he writes/^ This letter is dated from his Royal Palace near London, the 
17th of January, 1534. Before Sexten^s impeachment a report was sent to the 
King, as to how " Edmund Sexten, your grate servant," being then Maier of 
your Cyttie of Lymerike in the journey to O^Bryen''s Bridge did not only 
right dihgently endeavour hym to serve your Majestye, bat also in aU other 
your grate aftayrs as in practising with O'Bryne and James of Desmonde and 
all other your disobeydyent subjects to allure them to his power to your 
grate obedyency, and lykewise in his present 'oith the cytenzens of Lymerick 
did forwardly, diligently and hardly effectual service in every imploye of 
that journey to his grate charge, labours and paynes, kc." This " petytion" 
is signed by Leonard Gray, John Barnwall, your grate Chancellor ; George 
Dubhn, James Rawson, Pryor of Kilmaynam ; William Brabazon, Gerald 
Aylmer, Justice; Thomas LuttereU, Justice; Patryke Einglass, Baron; 

Thomas Justice ; Patryke Whyte, Baron. 

O'Brien wTites the following to the king, in which he admits all that Sexton 
had done in his Majesty's favor : — 

O'Brien (o King Henry VIII. 

Moste noble, excellent, high, and mighty Prince, and my most redoubted Soveraigne High 
Lord, in the humblest manner that I can or maj^, I recomend me unto your Majestic ; I 
Cononghure O'Bryen, called Prince of Thomond in your land of Ireland. Advertysing, that I 
received your most dread letters by your servant, Edmond Sexten, now Ma3'or of your Citty of 
Lymericke, the 20th day of September, in 3-our most noble Reigne the 26th, dated at your 
Mannor of Langlee, where I perceived partly your minde, in especiall, that I should give lirme 
evidence to your said servant. This is to advertise your Majesty of trouth that I was credible 
enformed, that the said letters were counterfeit, by my Lord of Ossery, and by my Lord his 
Sonne, and by your said servant ; which was the principall cause, that I did not receive such 
rewards as your said servant profered me and my brother, and that I did not write to your 
highness according to my duty ; and that was the cause that I did not follow the councell of 
3'our said servant in your behalfe, till thys tyme : humbly beseeching your Majesty to pardon 
me of my negligence in that behalfe. 

And as for the receiving of Thomas FitzGerald into my countrey ; I insure you that I never 
sent for him, privy nor apperte, into my countrey ; but I could not, for very shame, refuse him 
of meat and drinke, and such little goods as we have. And as well I insure your grace that I 
never went, nor one of mine, to aid the said Thomas against your grace is subjects, and if I 
would have helpen him with my power, I assure your highnesse he would not have come in this 
toilment, at the least. 

And as for to certifie you of the goeing of James Delahide towards the Emperour, I insure 
your grace that it was never by my will ; and to prove the trouth of the same, I insure j'our 
grace, that ever he come, with power or without power, I shall take or banish him to the utter- 
most of mj' power : also beseeching your grace to pardon me of my negligence in that behalfe. 

Furthermore advertising your grace, that I have received your most dread letters, dated at 
your Mannor of Westmester, the 10th day of September, in j'our Reigne the 27th year, by the 
hands of your servant, Edmond Sexten, wherein I perciev^e your grace is jealous and displeasor 
with me, and as well your grace will be me to give ferme credence to your said servant, I insure 
your grace, that if I had the consaill of your servant, and of our JLister Doughtoure Neyellane, 
Thomas Young, and .John Arthur FitzNicholas, alderman of your said cittj', at the first time, as 
T am informed hv them now of your grace, and of your power and bountie, I had never done 
nothing prejudicial! to your grace is pleasure ; but I was counselled hy light people, whereof now 
I am right sorrie. But now, seeing that all thinges is done and passed for lacke of experience, I 
luimbly beseech your grace to take me to your mercy. And your grace has good cause soe to 
take me, for I insure that all mine ancestors, and I myself, hnth done right good service to your's deputies in this land of Ireland. Therefore \ humbly beseech your grace, as lowly as 
«Vy subject can or maj-, to pardon me of all tlie premisses, and . and all that I have in the 
world, is and shall be at vour commandment, 


In 15 iO tlie Lord Deputy and Council write to Henry VIII. and speak of 
the determined attitude of the Desmonde (the pretended Earl) O'Neill, 
O^Donnell, O'Brien, O'Molloy, O'Connor, young Gerald,, fee, and their 
resolution to raise the Geraldine sect and uphold the " usurped^' supremacy 
" of the Bishop of Eome/'' The letter states that the land of Ireland is 
" by estimacions and descriptions as large as Englande" — and proceeds : — 

" But to enterprise the hole extirpation and totall destruction of all the 
Irishmen of the lande, it wold be a marvailous sumptions charge, and great 
difficultie ; considering both the lacke of inhabitors, and the great hardness 
and mysery these Irishmen can endure, both of hongre, colde, thurst, 
and evill lodging, more then thinhabitantes of any other lande. And by pre- 
sident of the conquest of this lande, we have not hard or redde in 
any cronycle, that at such conquests the hole inhabitantes of the lande have 
bene utterly extirped and bannisshed. Wherefore we think the easiest Avay 
and least charge were, to take such as have not heynously offended to a 
reasonable submission, and to prosecute the principalles with all rygor and 
extremytie." It is recommended in another of these state papers that garrisons 
should be formed in several cities. That at Limerick 1000 soldiers whereof 
horseman 300, gunners 200, archers 400, andbdlmen 100, should be raised. 
This letter is dated from Dublin, 18th January, 31st year of the king's 
" most victorious reigne." 

In 1542, the Council repaired to the city of Limerick, on the 15th of 
February, and held a Parhament which they continued to the 10th of March. 
This Parliament stood prorogued to the 7th of November, and was farther 
prorogued to the 22nd of December, when it met at Dubhn, and adjourned 
again to Limerick. According to the Statute Book it sat only to the 
7th of March, three days less than the term mentioned in the despatch 
from the Deputy and Council to the king. In the same despatch O'Brien 
is lauded as a very sober man, and likely to continue " a treue sub- 
ject." A subsidy of 20 marks yearly is ordered out of the county of 
Limerick, and 60 marks out of the county Tipperary. Upon the Irishmen 
of certain quarters mentioned — first upon Mac I Brien 60 golglas for a 
month — and 6d. sterling out of every plowland in his country — upon Tu- 
lagh Mac Brien, Captain of Ycownagh, £5 rent sterling yearly, upon O'Ken- 
nedy and M'Egg (Egan), £10 yearly, Irish — O'Mulryan £40 15s. yearly rent, 
and 60 galoglas a month — O'Dwyre 8d. sterling out of every plowland in 
liis countrey, and 40 gallowglas for a month, yearly. '"^They complain of 
the great lacke that will be here of learned men and other ministers to 
reside about Lymerick, daily to see justice ministered there, laying farre 
from Dublin, where your highness lawes be executed, and no man there 
learned to stay or order anything among them." 

And as if it would please your grace to be soe good and gracious to this poore land, and to 
use your poor subjectes, as to send some nobleman to govern us ; and in especiall, if it would 
please your highness to send your sonne, the Duke of Richmond, to this poor contrey, I insure 
your grace that I and my brother, and all my kinsmen, with all my friends, shall doe him as 
lowly service, and as trew, as any man liveing ; and I, my kinsmen, and all my friends, shall 
right gladly receive him to our foster sonne, after the custom of Ireland, and shall live and dye 
in his right and service for ever, and binde us to the same, after your pleasure known, by 
writeing to us by your servant Edmond Sexten, to whom we remit airthe rest of our mindes to 
your grace. As the Holy Trinitie knoweth, who have our Majesty in his must tender tuycion, 
to your harte's-tlesire. Written at my Mannor of Clone Rawde [Clonroad, Ennis], the 13th 
day of October. 

Conohnyr O'Brr/en, Prince of Twomone. 


The despatch is dated from the castle of Catherlaghe (Carlow), the last 
day of March, in the 33rd of the reign of Henry VIII. 

In the expedition to O'Brien^s Bridge, so often referred to, Sexten was 
desired in the following letter which appears in the Arthur MSS.* to give his 
assistance : — 

To our trustie and well beloved, the Maior, Bayhves, Aldermen, and 
Cityzens of the cittye of Lymerick. 

Trustie and right well beloved we grete you, well, and desire and praye 
you also neverthelesse in the kyng^s name charge according, our former 
writing of haster night, you with your companie in all haste, repayre unto 
us with your pikeaxes, speades, shovels, matokes, axes, and other such 
engines for the breaking of O'Bryen's Bridge. Yee knoo well wee have but 
3 dayes victualls, and cannot sett forth conveniently, till your comying, 
wherefor make speede with all haste possible, and lett victualls be brought 
by water. Yee knowe the king^s honor one and all your wealths lyeth 
uppon this our proceedings at this instant tyme, fayle yee not hereof, as ye 
intend ever our good will, and for the coiltrary will answer at your pril to 
the king. From the Carape this morning, 
Leonard Gray, 

To the Mair of LjTuirke, in hast post haste. 

• A summary dT the achievements of Edmond Sexten from the Arthur MSS. is of some interest: 
" Edmond Sexten was employed by the king in the commission with the Earl of Desmond, tha 
Bishop of Emlaye, and Mr. Agard, for the suppression of all the religious houses in Mounster, in 
which journey be spent £9 sterling. He was a mayne help with the cittizens of Limmerick to 
take in the castle of Deryknockane from the rebells, and Lord Leonard Grey left the keeping 
thereof to Sexten's own care for the six years, which cost him in all £39 18s. sterling. He was 
employed by the Kyng to the traitor Thomas Fitzgerald, in hope to reduce him to subjection, 
whereof he fayled, but certified his Majestie of the refractoriness of the said Fitzgerald. 

After that he was three severall tymes employed by the King to the Earl of Desmond and 
other Lords in Munster, to keepe them in their loyaltie, and from adhering to the said Thomas 
and his complices. The then Lord Deputie and Councell oftentymes employed him to that effect 
to the said lords and to O'Bryen, to John of Desmond, and to his son James, and to Donough 
O'Brj'en and others. ♦ 

He served at his own cost at the taking of Knockgraffon, Dungarvan, Carrigogunnel, 
the first and second time ; Ballinconnell Castle in Thomond and Clare, and Clononkenie, 
in the countic of Lymrick. He toke Donnell O'Bryen's galley, which did much prejudice the 
King's subjects in the river of Shenan. He sent his men, who slew the rebell called Slico 
(O'Connor Sligo), which did offend the cittizens much, and threatened to burn Lymerick. He 
caused Edmond Bourke and his sonne to pay £16 to such of the cittizens as they have robbed 
thereof. He caused William Fitzjames Geraldine to bestow the prey which he toke from some 
of the cittizens. His men brought home the cattle which were taken away the night before by 
some of the rebells. He apprehended one Macloghlen Baukaks sonn, and another rebell, whome 
he caused to pay £24 for their ransome, which he gave to such of the cittizens as the said Ma- 
cloghlen's sonn formerly caused to pay him ransome of £10. He with a small companie burned 
the toune and castle in the Island called Ellanrogane, and faught with many of the rebells there, 
of whom they killed many, and burnt others, and brought his men with their goods home salfe. 
He toke a galley and a half galley from Mourough O'Bryan, which he carried by land a myle 
and a half, and then lanced them to the water, and brought them to Lymricke. He issued at 
midnight out of Lj'mricke towards the Bishop of Killalowe and his two sonnes, but they narrowly 
escaped him, quitting their horses and baggage, whereon thej' seized. He burned Kilcordane and 
Clonemoniayne, in O'Bryen's countric. lie allured James of Desmond to come into the Lord 
Deputie's camp and laye in his tent and wayte on him to Limerick, and in his progress through 
Thomond within two miles of Galway, where they tooke leave and came to Lyrarick, and the 
Lord Deputie .went to Galway. He payed £40 in part payment of 1000 Duckatts, which he 
proipised to Donough O'Bryan for betraying and delivering up into his hands the rebell Thomas 
Fitzgerald, leing tlicn with O'Brien in Thomond, as he undertook to doe, but fayled in perfor- 

A very large mass of correspondence contains among the rest, several letters written 
by the king to his Deputy Lord Leonard Grey, in which he strongly reminded our 
trusty and well beloved Edmond Sexten, one of the gentlemen of our chamber and may be 
of that our city of Lymerick to doo unto us faithful and acceptable service — and 
tells Gray " in all your proceedings in our affairs concerning the reduction of the 


In a letter from the Council of Ireland to Cromwell^ dated from Cashel, 
August 24th, an account is given of the recapture of the castle of Carri- 
gogunnel, by Donogh O'Brien, Ossory, and the Lord De Gray; in the assault 
ordnance and arrows were used, and thii-teen of those who were T^itllin the castle 
were slain with ordnance, and four with arrows. There were 40 of Ossor/s 
party also killed. The keeping of the castle was then given to Ossory. 

inhabitants thereaboutts to our obeysance and due reformation or as the state shall 
require in prosecuting of the same, the obeyance and indurate mynde so requiring, ye 
doo tali unto you our said Sexton, and but begin consult whereby the said inhabitants may per- 
ceyve our estimaycion and favour born unto hym, by whych means he shall now the better 
allure them to our obeysance, and consequently by his experience and polyte the rather obtain 
the desired purposes in our affairs in those quarters." We have also the letters of Henry to 
Sexton, and of Sexton to Henry. Henry writes a special and lengthy letter commencing 
" Henry by the Kinge — Trustie and well beloved we grete you well" — returning thanks for the 
series of services performed, adding " taking you to noit (note) that being advertised how like 
goode, true, and faithful subjects ye have resisted the malicious enterprises of Thomas Fitzgerald 
that faulse Traj'tor and Eebell and other his accomplices there, we have thought goode not 
onle}'e to give unto you our hearty thanks for the same, but also to signifye tmto you that we 
shall not faile for to remember your integritie declared therein, as shall be to your benefits, 
wealthe and commoditie hereafter. Ye shall also understande that whereas the fee farm of that 
our cittie remaineth for sundrie yeares behind and unpaid, sythens (since) our subject Richard 
Ffox was first maier thereof, we have authorised and appointed our trustie and well beloved 
servant Edmond Sexton, sewer of our Chamber, to receyve of you to our use the said arrearages 
soe behind, so unpayed, whose acquitance in that behalf shal be your sufficient discharge as from 
yere to yere from henceforth to tak and receyeve into his hands our said fee farm being ten 
pundes bj' the yere till ye shall further know of our pleasure." The letter goes on at further 
length, as " given under our signet, at our Manor of Langley, the 21st day of September, the 
* * * yeare of our reigne" — and is addressed " to the Eighte Trustie and well beloved, the 
Maier, Baylilffes, Aldermenne and Cittizzens of the Citie of Lymerick." Not content with these 
expressions of favor to the Mayor, Corporation and citizens, Henry wrote to the Council and 
Corporation of the city as follows : — 

Henry Rex. By the King. 

Trustie and right well beloved, we grete you well, and perceyving by your letters and credence 
sent unto us in the person of our trustie and well beloved servant, Eamond Sexten, Mayor of 
that our cittie, your desire concerning the confirmation of your charter and libertyes, with 
certain additions in the specialities whereof, ye further instructed the same our servant concern- 
ing your faithfull loyal herts towards us, with your dilligent service to our good contentation 
and pleasure, like as for the same we give unto you our right harty and condign thankes. We 
be right favorable willing and inclyneable not only to yor said pursuits, but also shall be the 
semblable in all other your reasonable petitions. And for this tyme, in token of our favor 
towards you, we have written unto our deputie there that at his next repayre unto our prce, he 
shall leave one of our great pieces of ordinaunces, with shott and pouder necessary, in your 
custodye within that our cyttie, there to remayne, and be alwayes in a readj'ness for the adv-ance- 
ment of all enterprosses in those ptes, to be attempted and sett forwardes by your said servant 
and his coadjutor, our trustie and well beloved John Arthur FitzNicholas, one of your brethern 
of that your cittye. Byde unto them at all seasons, consellying, favouring, aveding and assist- 
ing to the best of yeur power, as our speciall trust in you. Given under our signet at our 
Manor of Westmr, the last day of May. 

To the Counsell and Corporation of our cittie of Lymericke. 

In addition to his other qualifications, Edmond Sexton was an author. He wrote e book 
by the King's commandment '' for the reformation of those parts," and among his papers were 
found the names of the castles, lands, rivers, creeks, important places, territories, lordsliips, with 
their lords, on each side of the Shannon to Loop Head. He stales that iu the Island of Innis- 
cattery, the merchants of Limerick dwelt, and had castles and store houses of their own inheritance 
— that there was an image of St. Senan in the island, which was regarded with the utmost 
devotion by the people, and a great old church, wherein woman never went since the time of St, 
Senan, with a provost as warden, who singly disbursed a hundred marks yearly. He recom- 
mends that a future church be built on the island. Moore wrote, or rather translated from the 
Latin, the beautiful and well-known verses " St. Senanus and the Lady." 




The events summarised in tlie last chapter occupy a period of between 
seven and eight years. ^ We need not refer to the extraordinary changesj 
which took place in consequence of these successes of the English in a coun- 
try where they had heretofore had little if any footing except within the 
waUs of the city where they had been endeavouring to establish themselves 
for some centuries before. In 1537, the Earl of Kildare, whose rebellion 
had caused sore annoyance to the government, and who is styled by the 
annalists " the best man of the English in Ireland of his time/^ and his 
father^s five brothers, namely, James, Oliver, John, Walter, and Eichard, 
were put to death in London ; all the Geraldines of Leinster were either 
exiled or put to the sword ; the Earldom of Kildare was vested in the King, 
and every one of the family who was apprehended, whether lay or ecclesiastic, 
was put to death. It appears from a letter written by Lord Thomas, to 
Rothe,2 that during his confinement he was treated with the greatest indignity 
—he was not permitted to enjoy the merest necessaries of life ; for his clothes, 
which were tattered, he was indebted to the charity of others, his feUow 
prisoners, who took pity on him. He wrote a letter to Eothe, in which the ■ 
following passage appears : — " I never had any mony sins I came into pryson, 
but a nobull, nor have I had neither hosyn, doublet, nor shoys, nor shyrt, 
but on [one] nor any other garment, but a synggle fryse gowne ; for a velve 
fyrryd wythe bowge, and so I have gone wolword and barefore, and bare- 
leggd, diverse times (when ytt hath not ben very warme) ; and so I shall have 
done styll, and now, but that pore prysoners, of their gentylnes, hath 
sumtyme geven me old hosyn, and shoys and old shyrtes." The grief and 
misery which prevailed throughout Ireland for the fall and extermination of 
the illustrious Geraldines of Leinster, were expressed in the loudest and most 
unmistakeable manner ; and to add to the sorrow with which the heart of the 
nation was stricken, it was just at this time that the '' Reformation^^ in 
England and in Ireland began to manifest the existence of its bitter fruits. 
The possessions of monks, canons, nuns, brethren of the cross — i.e., the 
crossed or crouched friars — and the four poor orders — i.e, the orders of Mi- 
nors, Preachers, Carmelites, and Augustinians — were suppressed, and their 
properties vested in the King.^ The monasteries were broken down ; the 

' In the 3'ear 1585 M'Auliif of Duhallow, the ruins of whose castle may still be seen near 
Newmarket in the county Cork, gained a great battle, in which were slain the Lord of Claingais, 
or Clulish, a wild district in the Barony of Upper Connelloe in the South West of the county 
Limerick, with a large battalion of the Clan Sheehy, i.e. Mac Sheehy, who were of Scottish 
origin (see O'Donovan's Annals of the Four Masters, ad. an. 1535) and hereditary gallowglassea 
of Ireland. In this battle was slain Mael Murry, son of Brien M-Sweeny. 

* Lord Thomas Fitzgerald to Rothe — State Papers. 

' The number of abbies which Henry VIII. possessed himself of in England was 645, which 
were levelled to the ground, and their lands and riches seized — there were 2,347 chapels and 
chantries in like manner destroyed, and their temporalities confiscated ; 1 10 hospitals, and about 
100 colleges, together with their revenues, were also appropriated to the kings Such abbots 
as did not resign their abbies were cruelly put to death — viz. the abbots of Glastonbury, of 
Reading, of Gloucester, of Whately, of Gerveaux, of Sawley, and the Priors of Woburn and 
Burlington. With the spoils of St. Thomas of Canterbury's church alone there were twenty-six 
waggons, laden with the richest ornaments, plate, jewels, «S:c. There is no computing the enor- 
mous wealth which was thus taken possession of by the king to satiate his own brutal lust for 
plunder. In Ireland the abbies, convents, and priories, were in like manner handed over to the 
icing, and in 1541 these resignations were ratified and confirmed bj' the Irish Parliament. To 
appease the gentry of the nation, " lumping bargains" were given to them by the Crown of 
Church lands, and tiius interest quelled their complaints ; so that they beheld the ruins of the 
noble monasteries and convents founded by their forefathers for the service of God without remorse. 


roofs and bells were made away witli^ so that from Arran of the Samts to the 
Iceian Sea/ there was not one monastery that w^as not broken and shattered, 
with the exception of a few in Ireland^ of which the English took no heed — 
some of which appear not to have been known to them for a long time after 
this disastrous period, and in the neighbourhood of which the friars continued 
to live, as at Multifarnham, Ballyhaunis, &c., until a comparatively recent 

The Chief Justiciary, Gerald Aylmer, meantime arrived in Limerick, in the 
33rd year of Henry's reign, and made an inquisition, with his fellow com- 
missioners, " touching some things taken up to the King's use at Limerick 
upon the suppression, and other crown matters." He ordered the mayor and 
bailiffs to come before him and his commissioners, and to summon "18 free 
and lawful men" of the baihwick on the Friday before St. Patrick's Day, to 
enquire into sundry matters. The inquisition was accordingly taken on the 
13th of February, and the particulars of it, as we find them in the Arthur 
MSS., which go into many subjects in detail Avhich deserve to be put on record. 
These, which will be found in the note, will give some notion of the great 
riches with which the abbies and monasteries of these days were filled, before 
they fell a prey to the rapacious spoliation of the brutal and merciless Henry.' 
They have never, we believe, been hitherto published. 

With the exception of the Butlers, and very few others, there were none 
in favour of these proceedings. Many of the old statutes of Kilkenny for 
the extinction of friendships between " the Irishrie and Eughshrie," and the 

' The name by which the ancient Irish writers called the sea that divides England from France. 
2 Note in Annals of the Four Masters. 

' An office declaring the possessions of the king's castle Lymerick, and touching some things 
taken up to the king's use uppon the suppression at Lymerick, and other crown matters. 

" Gerald Aylmer, knight, that is captain, and justiciary of our lord the king in the pleadings 
before the same lord and king in his land of Ireland, and to his fellow commissioners of our lord 
the king within the county of Limerick, as well within the liberties as without, to inquire about 
all singular treasons, murders, felonies, transgressions, and other offences whatever, within the 
aforesaid county, committed only whenever perpetrated, and the hearing and deciding same, and 
further proceeding as in the letters patent of the said lord our king, whence to me and my fellow 
commissioners aforesaid being (so) appointed is more fullj' contained. We command the mayor 
and bailiffs that they cause to come before the commissioners aforesaid, 18 free and lawful men 
of your bailiwick of the city aforesaid on the Friday before the feast of St. Patrick, Bishop, 
which is next to be, to enquire about articles touching our lord the king, and further to do what 
shall be given them in command; and that you have there the names of the said 18 men and 
this precept. Witness the aforesaid justiciary at Limerick, 8 day of March, in the 33rd year of 
the reign of King Henry VIII. 

The inquisition taken before the king's commrs. at Lymerick the Thursday next after Shrofft 
Tuesday which was the 1 3th day of Februarii in the 33 yeare of our Sovereign Lord, King 
Henry the Eighth, by the jurors following, David White, alderman, Thomas Young, alderman, 
Patrick Fanning, alderman, Stephen Creagh, alderman, William Fanning, alderman, Dominik 
White, alderman, David Ryce, George Stretch, Andrew Harrold, Stephen Comyn, James Creagh, 
William Verdon, Rowland Arthur, Thomas Long, Humphray Arthur, John Comyn. Wee find 
that the king's castle hath by the yeare ten pounds of the fee-farm of the citty of Lymerick 
which £10 Mr. William Wyse doth receive yearly as constable of the said castle under the king. 
Item wee do finde that there are twoe gardines adjoyninge to the south side of the Ilande pertayne- 
ing to the said king's castle which the said constable hath. Item more wee finde that the pasture and 
grazeing of the said iland appertayne to the said king's castle. The inhabitants of the said cittie 
having their ingress and regress for their pastyme therein without any interruption or lett. Item 
more wee doo finde that there belongeth to the said castle tenn shillings a yearely rent to the 
He weare which lyeth on the cast side of Corballj'. Item, we fynde that there belongeth to the 
said castle of every ship resorting to the said cittie, with wheate or salt, being noe freeman's 
goods of the same citty, one measure of salte, and one of wheate and of every boath or galey 
laden with heareings or oysters, as is aforesaid, one hundred of heareing, and one hundred of 
oysters goe laden. 


annihilation of the Irish habit^ were ordered to be put in execution.' 
Harpers, Rhymers, Chroniclers, Bards, &c., were ordered to be set upon with 
unsparing vengeance. Silk and satin were forbidden to be Avom. The cele- 
brated image of the Blessed Virgin, which Archbishop Browne (the first of 
the English church archbishops of Dublin) called, in the language of the 

Item, wee finde that John Comyns house in the Key lane, do beare yearly to the house of 
Keilmanani, twoe shillings of yeaily rent and noe most. Item, wee finde that Patrick Fanning's 
house lynge in Creagh lane, doe bearre to the house of Keilmanam twelf pence of yearly rent. 
And of Patrick Lange's house, next unto the same of yearly rent twelf pence, and a gardine 
lyeing by the spitle twelf pence of yearly rent. Item, wee doe find that in the 30th yeare of 
King Henry the Eighth, Edmond, Archbishop of Cassell, and Walter Cowley, the king's solicitor 
taking uppon them to be the king's commissioners, did take of the image of the holly roods, 
shoes of silver, wheing twentie seaven unces troy weight wherein weare divers stones the value 
whereof wee cannot tell. And alsoe did take the image of our Ladj-e of the said church showes 
of silver weighing six unces with divers stones, and lifteene buthons of silver, valued at three 
shilling, 9d. str. And neyne crosses of silver, valued at neyne shillings. And a peare of beades 
of silver, weighing six unces. Item, the said commissioners did take of the black fryers of 
Lymerick the day and yeare above said Sanict Sunday, his showes of silver weighing tenn unces, 
with divers stones, the value whereof wee cannot tell. And 4 stones of cristall bound with silver 
to our estimation weighing 2 unces. And foure score pound of wax as wee doe think rather 
more than less, being in the said chappele then. And iron being in the said chappell to the sum 
of twentie stones, And above. Item, the 22nd day of Januarii, in the 32 yeare of our sovereigns 
Lord King Henry the Eighth, Mr. Eobert Saintlager did take both the greate bell and the small 
bell out of the same place. Item, we find that David Michell of Lymerick, marchant, have a 
challice of silver, of the grey fryars in his keeping, delivered unto him, by one John O'Linge, at 
that tyme fryer of the said house, which challice was delivered to Humphrey Sexten. Item, wee find 
that John Skeolan of Lymerick, merchant, have two candlesticks of brass, of the said abbey in 
gage they doe say. Item, wee find that John M'Skyddiy of Lymerick, taylor, have a booke of 
the said fryars in gage for eight pence. Item, wee find that Stephen Crevagh, hath certain 
glasses of the said fryars which he hath delivered to Humphray Sexten. Item, George 
Sexten hath a vestment of chamlet red with a cross of velvet thereon. Item, John P.j'ce hath a 
vestment of Ameistock of the said fryers. Item, Humphrey Sexten have received of Leonard 
Crevagh, one challice of silver of the grey fryers. Item, wee finde that Stephen Harrold have a 
gardine of the said fryers by lease for years, paying therefor yearly sixteene pounds which is 
within the churchyard of the said fryers. Item, Steephen Crevagh hath a particle of the same 
churchyard, and in lease for yeares paying therefor, yearlj', sixpence. And Christopher Crevagh 
hath the rest of the said churchyard by lease for years, paying yearly therefor, 2s. 8d. Item, 
Steephen Crevagh hath a garden of the said fryers, within the moore of the said fryers by lease, 
paying yearly therefor, 2s. Item, James Harrold hath a garden of the said fryers, by lease, 
paying therefor, yearly, 3s. 4d. Item, John Nagle hath a gardine within the precincts of the 
said freeres, by lease paying therefor, yearly, 3s. 4d. Item, John Nagle hath a little medowe of 
the said freeres, paying therefor, yearly, 3s. Item, more wee find that John Skoylane hath 
another gardine in the said moore, by lease, paying therefor, yearly, 23. Item, Nicholas Stretch 
hath a gardine by the little Hand by lease, paying yearly therefor, 8s. sterling. Item, Andrew 
Harrold hath a gardine in the said moore by lease, paying yearly therefor, 2. 4d. James Fox 
hath a garden hy lease and within the precincts of the freeres church, paying yearly therefor 
8s. Item, Leonard Creagh hath another gardine payeing yearly therefor Is. Item, Dominick 
Comyn hath one stone house of the said freeres, named the fish house, by lease, paying therefor 
yearly sixteen pence. Item, John Nagle hath one other gardine within the said precinct by 
lease, payeing therefor j'earlie IGd. Item, John Stretch Fitzgeorge hath one other gardine by 
lease without the moore, paying yearly therefor 2s, More, the said John hath one house which 
did appertayne to the said freeres, by lease, payinge therefor 2s. Item, Christopher Crevagh 
hath one tenement or voj-de place by lease, payeing therefor yearley 4s. and another voyde 
place, payeing therefore yearly 8s. 4d. Item, wee fjTid that there are tenn acres of land in Lui- 
thagh, more the two parts of the teythe of the same in Theobot Boorke's country, and three acres 
in Brarnblock and twoe parts of the teythe of the same, and twoe acres in the great croft and the 
twoe parts of the teythe of the same, and tenn acres in Claishcuigilly with the 2 partes of the same, 
whych lands and teythes appertayne to the same freeres. Item, wee fynd that the church of 
ScaintePeter and the churchyarde of the same is a chappell in Keilrone,inO'Bryens countrye,and all 
lands and tenements within the cittie of Lymerick, appertayning to the saide Sainct Peters here- 
after followe. Item, wee find that Christopher Harrold hath one gardine and orchard by lease 
for certaine yeares paying therefor yearly 2s. And one house by lease which lease doth mansion 
that all rent thereof is payed before hand. Item, Elian Whyte widdowe hath one orcharde by 
lease payeing therefor yearly, 2s. And Elinor Arthur widdowe hath one gardine and one house 

» State Papers, Henry VIII. 


icoffer^ the " Idoll of Trjm/' and believed to perform wonders and mira- 
cles,^ this and " The Staff of Jesus/' or crozier of St. Patrick,^ were publicly 

The persecution suffered during these terrible days by the Irish Cathohcs 
was not surpassed by that endured by the Church of Christ in its very ear- 
liest times at the hands of the Pagan Emperors of Eome, "so that it is im- 
possible to narrate or tell its description unless it should be narrated by one 
who saw it."^ In more remote and hidden places the monasteries, it is true, 
were not molested, simply because they were beyond the reach of the des- 
troyers, but for no other reason. 

The Lords of the Pale at this period felt that they must introduce Irish 
tenants ; they were not content with the English tillers of the soil, who 
could not live in penury or wretchedness as the Irish, but must sustain 

by lease payeing yearly 16d. Item, Oliver Arthur Fitzrobert, hath one gardine by lease, 
paying yearlie therefor 8d. Item, that Ellen Stacpol widdowe hath one gardine by lease paye- 
ing yearly 8d. Item, that Donogh O'Donnell hath one house bj' lease paj'eing yearly therefor, 
16d. Item, there is half one plowland named Ballj'nagalleagh in the south side of the Curry 
there is underwood and pasture belonging to the same. Item, there is by Loughgair a towne 
called Ballynagalagh in the countye of Lymerick that pertayneth to the said nunnery and house 
of Keiloine aforesaid. Item, M'ee finde that one Michael Arthur, merchant, deceased the 10th 
day of May, 32nd yeare of King Henry the Eighth, and that one Morris Herbert, archdeacon of 
our laidies church of Lymerick, did refuse and would not take of one David Arthur, and Genett 
Whyte executor of the said Michael Arthur, but according as it hath been paid of ould time con- 
trary to the forme of the statute there in provided. Item, wee find that Tibbott Bourke of 
Caherkinlish in the county of Lymerick Gentl., the 10th day of Januarii, to 33 yeare of King 
Henry the VIII. and divers before and after did take of one William Young of Lymerick, mer- 
chant, for seaven loads of oaths, 7d. and so of divers others of the sayd cittie daylie. And of 
James Fox of the same for ten barrells of wyne departinge out of the same cittye into the countrie 
2d. in extortion. Mahone O'Bryen of Carrigogunnel in the countie of Lymerick, gentl. did take 
of Domynick Whyte of Lymerick, niercht. the 10th daye of December, Sord Henrci 8, for 3 
barrells of wyne 3d. and for ten barrell of Avyne 20d. and soe from day to day, from divers 
others of the said cittj^ in extortion. And so did Murrough MacMahon of Balliolman of Chris- 
topher Creagh Fitzpatrick of Lymerick, merchant, for custom of 2 hogsetts of hearings 3s. 8d. and 
for 5 dykers of hydes 7s. id. and of every boath that cometh to that cittye by his castle 7s. 4d. 
and soe of divers others. And O'Conoughour of Carigfoyle did take of John Streech Fitzgeorga 
for his ship coming to that citty 3s. 4d. and 20 gallouns of wyne, and soe of every ship that 
Cometh to that towne with wyne. Shiekus O'Cahaine of Keilruish in the countriey of Corkavaskin, 
the 10th day of December and 33rd H. 8, did take of every ship that cometh to that cittye 
and in especiall of John Fanning, 6s. 6d. by extortion. Donogh Gowe of Corrugraige, constable 
of the same under the Earl of Desmond, the 4th day of March and 33rd H. VIII. did take of 
Kobert Heay, of Lymerick, merchant, for his boath of oysters that came to the citty a hundred 
oysters, and soe of every boath that cometh likewise. Darmitius M'Morrough of Finies, the 10th 
day of Februarii, and 33rd of Henry VIII. did take of William Yong of Lymerick, merchant, 
for one boath passing by the castle of Ffinies, 12 gallons of wyne and eight gallons of hony, and 
of every boath that passeth by the same, to the said citty. Item, Fineen M'Namara, and Taig 
M'Namara did daiely take of every barrell of wyne that passes out of the said cittie into the 
countrey b}' them 2d. and of every cow and horse passing by them to the said citty, 2d. and the 
tenth parte of all Linnen cloath passing by them to the said citty, and of every man passing by 
them to the said citty havinge a capp on his head, 6s. 8d. in extreame manner. Alsoe O'Bryen, 
doth levye and take all such things as aforesaid, except the 6s. 8d. for the capp. Item, in 
tyme past the Earls of Ormond and of Desmond have used such like customes which nowe they 
be content to remitt. Item, Donogh O'Bryen doth take of every pack that passeth from Lymerick 
to Waterfourd, 20d. and of every horse.load of wares coming from Waterfourd to Lymerick 5d. 
And that the said Donnogh the loth day of Januarii last past tooke from John Harold, Nicholas 
Harold, Patricke Kochfort, and Kichard Verdon for packs aleaven duccats and soe of divers 

' " This image," say the annalists, " used to heal the blind, and the deaf, and the crippled, 
and persons afflicted with all sorts of diseases." 

2 This staff was said to have been received by St. Patrick from a hermit in an island of the 
Etruscan sea, to whom it was delivered, as was believed, by the Redeemer himself, whence the 
name " Bachall Isa," and was in Dublin performing miracles from the time of St. Patrick down 
to that day, and had been in the hands of Christ whilst he was amongst men. — Note in Annals of 
Four Masters. 
• Annals of the Four Masters. 


themselves and '' keep honest residence ;" and it became a matter of grievous 
complaint that they were obliged to chose those who could neither speak the 
Enghsh language^ nor " wore cap or bonnet/^ 

In the year 1540 Murrogh O'Brien and the chiefs of Thomond, by the 
consent and permission of the superiors of the order of St. Francis^ bestowed 
the monastery of Clonroad on the friars of the Observance/ but wherever the 
English extended their power, they persecuted and banished the religious 
orders, and in tliis year the monastery of Monaghan was destroyed, and the 
guardian and some of the friars were beheaded. 

Whilst the common enemy was thus at work, the old intestine divisions 
and wars continued to prevail among the leaders of the people. So general 
were these wars, that the death '^in his bed" of Torlough O'Brien, in 1542, 
at Inchiquin,2 is specially mentioned, he being "the most expert man at 
arms, the most famous and illustrious of his years, in his time.''^ The 
progress of the Reformation was slow, but the plunder of church property 
and the destruction of churches, went on unchecked, and many rehcs of older 
times were brought to light.' 

The Geraldines again gave trouble to the Government in revenge of their 
expulsion from theii' patrimony. The Lord Justice (St. Ledger) going into 
Offally, wrought vengeance upon them — he burned churches and monasteries, 
destroyed crops and corn, proclaimed O'Connor and O'jMorc traitors, and 
confiscated their territories to the King.'* 

In 1547, just m the crisis of troubles and misfortmics, Maurice Russell 
of Dublin, gentleman, was appointed curator, bailiff, commissioner, or trustee 
of the city of Limerick during pleasure, with the like fees as John White 
or any other received in said office, and the yearly sum of 40s. sterhng out of 
the fee farm of the city, and was again so appointed the 10th August, 1549. 

In 1547 Hemy VIII. died, and Edward VI. ascended the throne on the 
day of his father's death, viz. 28th of January, 1547. Henry was styled 
" Defender of the Eaith," for his book against Luther, yet in the two and twen- 
tieth year of his reign he issued a proclamation, that no person should 
purchase anything from the Court of Rome ; in the three and twentieth the 
clergy submitted themselves to the King for being found guilty of a pre- 
munire, and were the first that called him supreme head of the Chui'ch, yet 
with this restriction, so far as it was in accordance with God's word and not 
otherwise; and he proceeded from bad to worse, until in his thirty-fifth year 
all colleges, chantries and hospitals were given up to him.^ Notwithstanding 

' Annals of the Four Masters. 

* The castle at this lake, which was built by the head of the O'Briens sometime after the 
expulsion of the family of O'Quin. 

3 In breaking down a part of Christ Church, Dublin, in the year 1545, a stone coflSn was dis- 
covered in which the body of a bishop, in his episcopal dress, with ten gold rings on his ten lingers 
and a gold meys chalice standing beside his neck. The body lay in a hollow, so cut by a chisel, 
in the stone as to fit its shape ; it was taken up, all parts adhering together, and placed in a 
standing position, supported against the altar, and left there for some time ; no part of the dress 
had faded or rotted, and this was regarded as a great sign of sanctity. — Annah of Hit Four 

* Cox remarks of the state of education at this time, that "most of the letters of the great 
Irish lords (even some of English extraction) are subscribed with a mark, very few of them being 
able to write their names. Most of the Irish chieftains neither understood nor sought to under- 
stand the English language, and carried on their correspondence in Latin, supplied by the 
Catholic clergy." Cox errs in some respects, as O'Neill and other Irish lords unquestionably 
wrote their names. 

» Sir R. Baker's Chronicle, p. 425. 


these enoiiiious confiscations, Cox^ adds that the necessities of the State 
obhged the King to coia brass or mixed moneys, and to make it current in 
Ireland by proclamation, to the great dissatisfaction of all the people, 
especially the soldiers.^ This base money was circulated in Limerick as well 
as elsewhere.' At this time the power of the English was very extensive 
in Ireland ; " so that the bondage in which the people of Leath-]\Ihoga 
were, had scarcely been ever equalled before that time/''* Just at this time 
Sir Wnham Brabazon, Lord Justice, who was elected by the Council, com- 
mitted the government of Tipperary to Edmond Butler, Archbishop of 
Cashel, and made a journey to Limerick, where Teig O^Carroll submitted, 
and entered into covenants of paying a yearly tribute into the Exchequer, 
and of serving the King with a certain number of horse and foot at his own 
charge, and of renouncing his pretensions to the barony of Ormond ; and 
afterwards the same Teig O'Carroll surrendered to the King his country of 
Ely O^Carroll, containing ninety-three plowlands and a half ; and the King 
regranted the same to him, and created him Baron of Ely. By O^Carroll's 
means, Mac Murrough, O'Kelly, and 0^]\lelaghhn, were now taken into 
protection and pardoned ; and by the Lord Deputy^s mediation, the Earls of 
Desmond andTliomond who were wrangling about bounds, and the protection of 
each other's Tories or outlaws, were reconciled on the 11th of March.^ 

On the 4th of November, Charles Mac Art Kavenagh made his submission 
to the Lord Deputy at Dublin, in presence of the Earls of Desmond, 
Thomond, Clanrickard and Tyrone, and the Lords Mountgarrett, Dunboyne, 
Cahir, and Ibracan, renounced the name of Mac Murrough, and parted with 
some of his usurped jurisdiction and estate.^ O^Carroll, however, did not 
long remain quiet. In this same year he burned Nenagh upon the "Red 
Captam,'"^ and the monastery of Tyoue also. He destroyed the town from the 
fortress out. He set fire to the monastery of Abington in the county of 
Limerick, banished the Saxons out of it,^ created great confusion among 
them, by which he weakened their power and " diminished their bravery," 
so that he ordered them all out of his country, except a few warders who 
were at Nenagh ui the tower of Mac Manus.^ 

The Lord Justice (Brabazon) being m Limerick, held a great court, 
at which the Mayor Avas present, and took part in it as one of the Judges or 
Commissioners. In 1551, Edmond Butler, Archbishop of Cashel, and son 
of Pierce, Earl of Ormond, to whom the government of Tipperary had been 
committed a few years before, died; and Murrough O'Brien, Earl of Thomond, 
as he was styled by the English, and king,^° but styled O'Brien according to 
the custom of the Irish, died — he was the first man of the race of O'Brien 

' Cox's Hibernia Anglicana. 

- In the time of Henry VIII. the discovery of the American gold mines made a great change 
in the value of money ; his Chief Baron of the Exchequer had a salary of £100 a year; the 
Barons, £46 13s. 4d. each ; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, then a less important per- 
sonage than he now is, had Jt26 13s. 4d. a year. 

3 It breaks and moulders away after very little handling ; it is called copper bj- the Four 
Wasters, who add that "the men of Ireland were obliged to use it as silver." — Annah of the Four 

* Annals of the Four Masters. 

* Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 287. * Ibid. 
7 Annals of the Four Masters, en an 1548. * Ibid. 

' This was the name of tlie massive tower now called the " Round" of Nenagh ; who this 
Mac Manus was it is impossible to say, — Dr. O'Donovan's note in Annals of the Four Masters. 
Conld it be " Magnus?" 

'0 Annals of the Four Masters. 


who was styled Earl, — " a man valiant in making and puissant in sustain- 
ing an attack, influential, rich and wealthy/-*' Donough O'Brien succeeded 
him ; he had a contest with his uncle Daniel, who claimed the Estate by 
Tanistry ; by the mediation of the Lord Deputy they came to an agreement, 
when an Indenture Tripartite was made between the Deputy, the Earl, and 
Daniel O'Brien : the Indenture bears date. May 7th, 1552^. It had but a 
temporary effect ; the Earl of Thomond and his uncles Donald and Turlogh 
were again in arms ; they took Clonroad ; the earl defended the castle for a 
time ; but not long after he was murdered by Donald, his uncle, and the 
annalists add, that Dermot O'Brien died on the eve of St. Bridget and was 
buried in the monastery of Ennis. 

If Edward VI. did no good to Limerick, he endeavoured to show his 
partiaUty for it by granting a charter to the city. 




The news of the accession of Queen Mary to the throne of England was 
received with joy by the citizens of Limerick, who hoped that they might 
participate in the full fruition of their civil and religious rights and immu- 
nities.^ Casey,* who had been the first Protestant Bishop of the see, 
now fled beyond the seas, imitating, in this respect, the conduct 
of Bale, Bishop of Ossory. Hugh Lacy, or Lees, was constituted 
by the Pope, Bishop of Limerick, and an immediate change in the 
aspect of affairs was apparent. A Parliament was held in Dublin, commenc- 
ing on the 19th of June, 1557, and on the 2nd of July was adjourned to 

• Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 292. 

2 Sullivan mentions a curious fact whicli is quoted by Cox, in continuation of the wars 
between Daniel O'Brien and the Earl of Thomond in reference to the estates. He states that the 
Lord President Fitton got Daniel O'Brien into Limerick upon his oath that he would give him 
free and easy egress out of the gates ; but the sophistical Englishman turned him out of the 
wrong gate (" so that there was the river Shenin between him and his army which was encamped 
in Thomond" and immediately sent the young earl to take possession of the country, which he 
did; and Daniel, who was so brave a man that many of the old and new Irish courted him to be 
king of Ireland) was forced to lie that tempestuous night in a cabbin ; but when, according to 
the Irish fashion, he thought to lead his horse to stable in the same house with himself, the proud 
beast scorned to stoop, until the footboy whispered the horse in the ear and told him that his 
master O'Bryan would lodge that night in that cabbin, and desired that he would lower his crest 
and his crupper, and creep into the house to keep his master company; and the horse being well 
bred did comply in matter of ceremony ; but when he came to supper he was at a loss, for he was 
used to wheat, and could not conform to country entertainment, until the footboy whispered him 
once more that his master O'Bryan, who fed on oaten cake, did command Eosinante to be content 
with the same fare, and then he fell to it. 

s Arthur MSS. 

* The Right Hon. Wm. Monsell, M.P., is a descendant of Bishop Casey, as is also Sir Vere de 
Vere, Bart.— rCotton's Fasti. Cotton adds that the Duke of Buckingham is also one of Bishop 
Casev's descendants. 


10th of November to Limerick, and from Limerick, to the 1st of March in 
the following year, to Drogheda. The statutes of this Parliament enacted 
that all heresies should be punished, that all acts against the Pope made 
since 20th Henry 8th, should be repealed, &c. Sullivan (Catholic History, 
p. 81) gives every credit to Mary for propagating and supporting the old 
faith ; but he adds that although the Queen was zealous, her ministers did 
not forbear to injure and abuse the Irish.* 

Towards the close of her Majesty's reign, the Lord Deputy, Sussex, arrived 
to suppress a revolt of some inferior branches of the O'Brien family against 
their chief. Sussex mustered an army to march into Munster, and 0''Erien 
another to oppose him ; they, however, made peace ; and on this occasion, 
Connor O^Brien, the earl and the freeholders of Thomond, after service in the 
cathedral church of St. Mary, swore fealty to the crown of England : "the 
Irish, from the Barrow to the Shannon, on the part of O'Brien, and the Eng- 
lish of Munster on the part of the -Lord Justice.'^^ Sussex brought over 
with him five hundred soldiers and an order to coin brass money, and to make 
it current by proclamation, which was done.^ On the 14th of «rune, he came 
to Limerick, and advanced afterwards to Thomond. Scattering his foes, he 
took the castles of Bunratty and Clare, and restored the country to the Earl 
of Thomond, who, together with the freeholders, swore, on Sunday the 10th 
of July, on the sacrament, and by all the rehcs in the church — ^book, bell, 
and candle light, to continue loyal to the Queen and to perform their 
agreements with the Lord Deputy.* The progress of Sussex was not con- 
jfined to this triumph — the Earl of Desmond made his submission on the 21st 
of June, and to strengthen the bonds of fealty and friendship, the Deputy, 
on the 26th, became godfather to the Earl's son, whom he named James 
Sussex, and gave the child a chain of gold, and gave another chain and pair 
of gilt spurs to Dermot McCarthy of Muskerry.^ In this year, Turlough 
O'Brien, son of Turlough, son of Teigh-an-Chomaid,*^ died. 

Queen Mary died in the following year, and was succeeded by Queen Eliza- 
beth, during whose eventful reign some of the most startling events in our 
local annals occurred, and first among them the lamented death of James, Earl 
of Desmond, of whom it is said " the loss of this good man was woeful to 
his country, for there was no need to watch cattle or close doors, from Dun- 
quin, west of Ventry, in Kerry, to the green-bordered meeting of the three 
waters,^ on the confines of the province of Eochaidh, the son of Lucta and 

' Quce tamcBtsi Caiholicam religionem tueri et amplificare conata est, ejus tamen prcefecti et 
Concillarii injurias Eyhernis inferi non desisterunt. 

Sullivan speaks -with great truth when he refers to the conduct of Mary's ministers and 
councillors in Ireland ; they were as fierce and implacable against the old Irish race as any of 
their predecessors ; and the annals are full of the misdeeds of Sussex against many of the ancient 
possessors of the land, whom he treated with unexampled oppression and cruelty. 

2 O'Donovan's Annals of the Four Masters, cir an 1555. 

' Sussex's advent in Ireland is stated by the native annalists to have been followed by the 
most fearful disasters. He polluted the temples of God throughout Ireland ; he uprooted and 
overturned the altars wherever he met them ; he expelled the orthodox bishops and the clergy, 
and all members of religious houses ; he drove out the nuns from their sanctified retreats, and 
introduced the Lutheran religion, the Lutheran liturgy, and the heterodox faith, wherever he 
could. — Arthur MSS. 

* These are the words of the herald's certificate. 
' Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 307. 

* Coad, a townland containing the ruins of a small church near Corofin, Co. Clare. 
7 Anuals of the Four Masters. 


Leinster."' He died at Askeaton on the 14th of October in this year,* and 
was succeeded by his son Garret. 

In this year also^ Donnall O^Brien of Thomond was banished from his 
patrimony by the Lord Justice. The chief towns of Thomond and not only 
these^ but the entire country as well waste lands as inhabited lands, were 
placed by the English in the hands of the son of Donough O'Brien who was 
ajDpointed Earl — and he was the first of the race of Gas who was popularly 
called Earl.3 

Terrible was the commotion in consequence ; for nothing went more to 
the hearts of the people than an indignity of this kind.* In 1559, Gonor, 
Earl of Thomond, sat before luchiquin, to oppose the sons of Murrogh 
O'Brien. Donough, one of the sons of Murrogh was in the town, but Teigh, 
the other son of Murrough had been constantly in the company of the Earl 
of Desmond, since the expulsion of Donald O'Brien up to that period. 
Teigh made a sad complaint of his condition to the Earl of Desmond who 
assembled his troops and crossed the Shannon. The Earl of Thomond, 
leaving the camp at Inchiquin empty, proceeded to ask assistance from his 
trusty friend the Earl of Clanrickarde, which bemg granted, he did not halt 
until he arrived at the green of Inchiquin, and he returned back the same 
night to Ballyally. The camps of the Earls were not far asunder on that 
night. On the morrow, Desmond rose early, and marshalled his youthful 
warriors. They skirmished and fired on each other until they reached the top of 
KnockEurchailP where fatebroughtthemtogether,and victory afterafearfulfight 
declared in favor of Desmond. Gontemporaneously with this event O'Carroll, 
in accordance with the custom that every Irish chieftain thought it a duty 
to perform a predatory excursion as soon after his inauguration as possible, 
made his Captain's first expedition against Turlough Mac I Brien of Arra, 
on which occasion, he totally devastated and ravaged the country from 
Ballina, near KiUaloe, to O'Hogan^s mill, near Ardcroney.^ On the same day 
he slew Morrough Maclbrien, a distinguished Gaptain. In revenge the 
Maclbrien proceeded soon afterwards to ravage Ikerrin, in Tipperary ; but 
in this expechtion he was overthrown ; O'GarroU approached in battle order, 
dispersed the guards of the Maclbriens, not one of whom escaped by flight, 
took Maclbrien prisoner, who was not set at Hberty until he had paid ransom.' 
The rebellion of Gerald, the 16th Earl of Desmond, which brought him and 
Ms family to ruin, not content with his peaceable settlement in the Earldom, 
began about this time. His first disturbances were (in 1564) against the 
Earl of Ormond.^ These Earls were ordered to England, and bound by 

' The Suire, Barrow, and Nore, below the city of Waterford. 

2 Smith's History of Kerry, p. 253. 

3 Though Murrogh O'Brien was created earl for life, in 1543, he was never called earl by th» 

* Annals of the Four Masters. * Spancil-hill, Co. Clare. 
« Annals of the Four Masters. 

' One of the castles of the Mac I Brien, or the ruins of it, may yet be seen at Ballina. 

® Sir .John Davis says, the first occasion of his rebellion grew from his attempt to charge the 
Decies in the county of Waterford with coiyii and livery, black rents and cosheries, after the Irish 
manner, when he was resisted by the said earl, who fought him a pitched battle at Affane* in 
county, on the 15th of February, 15(J1, when he was taken prisoner and lost a considerable 
number of his followers. — Smith's History of Kerr ij^ p. 254. * 

* Affane. — Tliis place was granted, together with other places, to Sir Walter Raleigh. It 
was here that he grew the first cherries, as it was in Youghal that he grew the first potatoes. 


recognizances in chancery of twenty thousand pounds to stand by the queen's 

By the dissensions between the Earls of Ormond and Desmond, Munster 
was almost ruined, especially Tipperary and Kerry. The barony of Ormond 
was overrun by Pierce Grace ; and Thomond was as bad as the rest by the 
wars between Sir Daniel O'Brien and the Earl of Thomond.^ Hooker states 
that there was now no religion ; he means of course amongst those who, in the 
name of religion, perpetrated unheard-of iniquities. A great battle was to 
be fought between the Earls of Desmond and Ormond, concerning certain 
lands in dispute about the Suir and Cashel. The place selected was Boher- 
more, near Tipperary town ; immense numbers of their respective English 
and Irish neighbours crowded together from Cork to the Barrow, and from 
Logh Garman,^ "to the wide, foamy harbour" of Limerick.'* But "When 
the hosts came front to front and face to face, the Great God sent the angel of 
peace to them, so that concord was estabhshed between the hosts ; for, having 
reflected on the dreadful consequences of the battle, they parted without 
commg to any engagement on that occasion.''® Soon after this event, Teige, 
the son of Murrough O'Brien, was taken prisoner at Limerick, by order of 
the Lord Justice, and sent to Dublin to be imprisoned, and it was universally 
said at the time that the Earl of Thomond had a hand in his capture.^ Teige 
escaped from his bondage two years afterwards, when meeting Donald 
O'Brien, who had exerted himself to set aside the Earldom of Thomond 
before Connor's accession, united in opposition to the Earl, who raised many 
encampments against them; but the result of the fighting was that the Earl's 
people were defeated, many of them slain, and Brien, who was taken, was 
not given up until Shallee, in the barony of Lichiquin, was given to Teige by 
way of ransom. Ballycarr, the residence of the sons of Murrough, was 
afterwards taken and demolished by the Earl, who had brought ordnance and 
forces from Limerick for that purpose.^ 

It was in this year that the magnificent abbey and abbey lands of Cor- 
comroe, with their rents and customary services, and acquirements of land in 
the territories of Thomond, and its church livings, were given to DonneU 
O'Brien, as a compensation for the lordship of Thomond, to which he would 
have succeeded by Tanistry.® 

The citizens of Limerick, now aided the Lord Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney ; 
to the number of three hundred of them joined his forces in apprehend- 
ing the Earl of Desmond at KilmaUoch, where for a short time the Earl was 
imprisoned, and thence conveyed into Limerick, where he was indicted for 
levying war against the Queen. His brother John was knighted, and made 
Seneschal of Desmond.^ This was the first occasion on which Sidney visited 
Limerick — he had been some time previous occupied elsewhere in his en- 
deavours to suppress the Desmond Eebellion. Queen Ehzabeth wrote an 
obscure letter to him, all m her own hand, in reference to the disputes of 
the Desmonds and Ormonds, and this letter is printed in Smith's History 
of Kerry, pp. 256-7. 

On the 24th of September in the next year (1565) Arnold, Justiciary of 
Ireland, by consent of the Secretary of the Council, commanded the Mayor, 
Bailiffs, and citizens of Limerick, that they should observe the solemn injunc- 

' Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 320. 2 n,;,}. 3 xhe Irish name of Wexford. 

* Annak of the Four Masters. * Ibid. « Ibid. ' Ibid, ad an. 1564. 

* The English, to pacify him, bestowed these gifts upon him, as also such lands as descended ta 
himself by gavelkind, and such as he had poseeBsion of in any other way. — Annals of Four Masters. 

" Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 325. 


tions of Sussex, lately Yiceroy of Ireland, recently given to tliein by his letters, 
by which he cautions them that they should not dare, even in the slightest 
particular, to sell any one of the ancient commonage lands, but that they 
should preserve them entire to be expended in the public service and requirements . ' 

At this period a very remarkable man lived in Limerick, and taught 
school. This was John Goode, a Catholic Priest, of the order of Jesus, some 
time educated at Oxford. He was a man of extraordinary erudition, and 
gave great aid to Camden in that portion of his Britannia which treats of 
Ireland, " 'Tis strange^^ (says Nicholson) that a writer so much honoured 
by this great British antiquary, who gives a high character of this gentleman's 
modesty and learning, should be overlooked by Sir James Ware and the 
Oxford antiquarians. "2 

Gerald, the Earl of Desmond, was removed from Limerick to London 
by the intrigues of Ormonde, and imprisoned in the tower, where were also 
confined at the time, the Baron of Dungannon, O'Connor Sligo, O'Carrol, 
and other Irish chiefs, most of whom made submission to the Queen in 1568, 
when they were enlarged. Sidney visited Limerick a second time in 1569, 
where he established Sir John Perrot in the office of President of Munster. 
In CoUins' State Papers it is said that the city was in a wasted condition at this 
time, and that the Deputy recommended the building of a bridge here — most 
likely it was in consequence of his recommendation that Thomond Bridge 
underwent some repairs.^ Sidney's anxiety respecting bridge-building did 
not rest with recommendations — he built the bridge of Athlone in 1568.^ 

' Arthur MSS. * Nicholson's Irish Historical Library. 

3 A highly curious inquisition was taken at this time in Limerick touching the marriage of 
the Earl of Clanrickarde with Grany O'Karwell, or O'CarroU. It is thus stated in Morrin's 
Calendary of the Patent and Close Kolls of Chancery : — 

1566 — 9th Elizabeth. Depositions of witnesses taken before the King's Deputy and the Coun- 
cil at Limerick, 5th October, 36th Henry VIII., touching the marriage of the Earl of Clanrick- 
ard with Grany O'Karwell : — Hugh MacDonnell MacEgan, Brehon of Cloughketinge, in Ormond, 
saith "he heard Molrone O'Karwell say, when the late Earl of Clanrickard, then called Ulick 
Bourke, came to marry Grany, the O'Karwell's daughter, for that he thought he would give up 
the said Granj^, before he should marry her in the face of the church, he would himself see the 
marriage solemnised between ; and at the same time, deponent being at Modergime (Modereeny ?) 
saw them go to church to be married, and saw them likewise come from the church ; and further, 
heard those that were in the church say that the marriage was performed and done accordingly, 
howbeit he saw it not done himself." Teige Oge M'Gilyfoj'le deposed " that he was present at 
the mass, and saw solemnly married, in the face of the Church, and kneeling before the high 
altar, saw the Earl kiss the Priest and then the said Grany ; and being in the churcli when the 
mass time, saw them go out together, and the next day they departed thence.'' Shanet McDono- 
noghe MacDermot Mycke Gilyfoile agrees in all things with the second deponent, mutatis 
mutandis. Sir Adam Oge O'Hyran, priest, saith, " that at the solemnization of the marriage 
he was chaplain to the O'Karwell, and that it was he that said the mass, and coupled them 
together by the laws of Holy Church, being there divers other priests, gentlemen and horsemen, 
during the solemnization." — Oct. 5 36° Henry VIII. (Morrin's Calendary of the Patent and Close 
Kolls, Chancery, Ireland, p. 504.) 

* The old bridge, which was surmounted by the ancient " Queen's Arms," had a compartmented 
stone facade, containing, amongst other inscriptions, one coramemmorating the building of this 
bridge by Sidney, and the beheading of the " arch tray tor Shane O'Neill," as the sculptor desig- 
nated the haughty and unbending Shane na Dinis. This stone is now in the R.I. A., to which it 
was presented by Mr. John Long, C.E., when building the new bridge at Athlone. William 
Englebert, a famous Engineer, v/ho was born at Sherborne, got from Queen Elizabeth for his 
services, 1588, a pension of 100 marks per annum. King James would not permit him to serve 
any foreign prince. He died in 1G34 at Westminster.* It is not improbable that this engineer 
built, or gave the designs for the bridges on the Shannon at Limerick and Athlone, for Sir Henry 
Sydney, then Lord Justice of Ireland. The annals give the building of Athlone Bridge under 
date 1568, as follows: — " The Bridge of Athlone was built by the Lord Justice of Ireland, i.e.. 
Sir Henry Sydney." Bridges over so large a river were at that time regarded as works of great 
magnitude, and doubtless the best engineering skill then available was secured to advise on the 
erection of these bridges across the Shannon. 

* Fuller s Wurtliies, Vol. 2, p. 3GG. 






In 1568 Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy, held a parliament, in which a 
subsidy of 13s. 4d. was granted out of every occupied plough-land in Ireland, 
except those belonging to the Corporations of Dublin, Limerick, Cork and 
Waterford, and the chief government was to present to all church dignities, 
the cathedrals of Cashel, Limerick, Cork and Waterford excepted.^ 

In 1569 Limerick was one of the first places where the acts and ordinances 
of the remarkable parliament held this year were ordered to be proclaimed. 
In the coui'se of a great hosting which Sidney made in the same year, 
he proceeded from Cork to Limerick, demolished some of the towns 
of Munster between those cities, and next proceeded to Connaught, and 
reduced to " obedience" aU the country to Limerick, naming Sir Edward 
Phitun (Fitton) President — the first President that ever was named in that 
country. Limerick at this time was in a wasted condition. In the next 
year foUowuig the Deputy received the submission of MacIBrien Arra, who, 
m consequence, was confirmed in the possession of aU his " manors, castells, 
lordshipps, signiories, rules, hereditaments, commodities, and profits, with all 
and singular appurtenances^'' in DuhaUow. These expeditions were successful.^ 
It was about this period that Clare was made a portion of the province of Con- 
naught. The deputy visited Limerick a second time in 1575, and was enter- 
taiaed with more pomp than anywhere else.' Here he kept sessions, and 
observed the same methods he did at Cork ; he then marched into Thomond, 
in which, though it had formerly belonged to the English lords of Clare, and 
was inhabited by many English, now not a man of Enghsh extraction was to be 
found, and even the O'Briens, though very near relatives, were inveterate 
enemies one to the other ; the country was entirely wasted, and innumerable 
complaints of murder, rape, burning, robbery, and sacrilege were made to the 
deputy,* who imprisoned the Earl of Thomond and Teig Mac Murrough 
until they gave bonds and hostages of their good behaviour ; he kept the 
earl's brother in irons, made Sir Donald O'Brien sheriff, left a provost 
marshal and a garrison among them at their request and charge ; and upon 
shewing them that the uncertainty of their tenures was the cause of aU their 
disturbances, they promised to surrender their estates and take patents ac- 
cording to law. Having effected these objects he proceeded to Galway.^ 

Sir John Perrott, who in 1572, had been appointed Lord President of 
Munster, had so effectually proceeded in the interest of Elizabeth, that 
James Eitzmaurice, of Desmond, was compelled to submit to him at KH- 
malloch, which town on 4th of March before he had burned and plundered, 
having executed the sovereign and several of the townsmen, Fitzmaurice 

' Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, Vol i., p. 330. 

* The letters patent passed to Mac I Brlen are duly enrolled among the patents of 120 


' Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 345. * Ibid. 

' Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 345. 


made his submission in the Church, lying prostrate at the President's feet, 
who held the point of the sword at his heart, in token that he had received 
his hfe at the queen's hands.* 

Extraordinary customs prevailed in this reign, if we are to credit contem- 
porary witnesses. At the execution of Murrogh O'Brien, " a notable traytor" 
at Limerick, the foster mother of the unfortunate Murrogh took up the 
head, sucked the blood as it flowed from it, and stated, that the earth was 
not worthy to drink it. She then steeped her face and breast in the reeking 
gore, and tore her hair, crying and shrieking most terribly. ^ 

We will not follow the Deputy to Gal way, which he describes not flatter- 
ingly, neither shall we go through those still continued and apparently 
endless wars of the Desmonds and O'Briens, which fill so vast a space in the 
annals of these eventful times. During the Mayoralty of Roger Everard 
the Deputy arrived, as we have seen, in Limerick, and Ferrar, who is fol- 
lowed by Fitzgerald, erroneously states, on the authority of the Davis MSS. 
that it was in this year that the sword of state was carried before the Mayor, 
and that the Cap of maintenance was for the first time worn. The sword 
had been sought for in the reign of Henry VIII. but refused ; Elizabeth, 
however, in her charter, which she granted to Limerick in 1582, and not in 
1575, not only bestowed the sword, but gave the "hatte of mayntenance" 
also. For this most important charter see Appendix. 

During Sir Henry Sidney's visit to Limerick he addressed a letter to the 
Lords of the Council in England, which supplies some interesting details, 
illustrating the state of the south of Ireland at this period. The letter is 
dated Limerick 27th of February, 1575-6, and after giving an account of 
his arrival in Waterford, after his tour in Ulster and Leinster in all which 
places he met with a very favourable reception, proceeds to describe 
his visit to Lord Power at Curraghmore, where he was entertained " with 
plenty and good order," and where he found the tenants in a condition which 
would be considered enviable at the present day, for though the soil is stated 
to be much worse than in the county Kilkenny, " yet his tenants made more 
of one acre of land than there was made of three acres in that country or 
was made in the Decies, the lordship near adjoining him on the other side ; 
and the reason was that he suffered no idlers in his county, nor the better 
sort to oppress each other." 

From Curraghmore the Lord Deputy proceeded to Dungarvan Castle, 
where the Earl of Desmond waited on him, humbly offering him any service 
that he was able to do the queen. 

From Dungarvan the Deputy passed into Sir John of Desmond's country, 
in the county of Cork, from which he proceeded to Lord Barry's, and on the 
28th of December, arrived at Cork, where he was received " with aU the 
joyfulness, tokens and shews they could express, and diet and lodge six weeks 
for half their pay." Here he was waited on by the chief men of the province, 
all of whom, the letter states, offered all fealty, homage and service to her 
Majesty, and to hold their lands of her and yield her both rent and 

After having.settled matters at Cork, he proceeded towards Limerick and 
was two nights entertained at Lord Roche's. At Limerick he was attended by 

1 Smith'8 History of Kerry, pp. 262-3. 

2 Spencer's Yi^ v of Irelnini. p. 104 ; he .idfl"! that the old Gauls used to drink their enemy's 
blood, and paint themselves with it, and that the iri^h drank the blood of their friends. 


several lords and gentlemen^ and was received with much greater magnificence 
than he had hitherto seen in Ireland. Here as elsewhere, the local notables 
who visited him, complained bitterly of the misery and waste of the country by 
their great men, and begged for an English force to protect them, and Eng- 
lish Sheriffs to execute the laws, offermg to surrender their lands and hold them 
of the queen. The letter mentions amongst his visitors the Bourkes, Sup- 
ples, Purcells, the " Red Roches,^^ and divers original Irish, as O'Moylau, 
MacBrien, Ogoonah, MacIBrien Arra, O^Brien of Aherlow, on the South 
side of the Shannon, and many other personages of distinction. The Earls of 
Ormond and Upper Ossory also waited on him, the latter of whom he had 
left governor of the English Pale during his absence, and found kept in 
good order, Ulick and John Bourke, sons of the Earl of Clanrickarde, also 
waited on the Deputy, having received their pardon and being ordered to 
meet him at Galway. The Earl of Thomond, the letter continues, and all 
the principal gentlemen of his name, though enemies to each other, with. 
two Lords in Thomond called Macnamara, also came and made the same 
complaints as the others ; but the counties of Kerry and Tipperary being 
Palatinates the Lord Deputy did not visit, " but thinks that no perfect refor- 
mation could be in Munster until these grants were resumed" — so far Sir 
Henry Sidney^s letter. The palatine authority here referred to was about 
tliis period pleaded by the Earl of Desmond, who had been nominated one 
of the Council of Sir William Drury, who in the year 1576, was appointed 
Lord President of Munster on the return of Sir John Perrott to England, 
as a prehminary step towards the reform of the Province. The new President 
proceeded to extend his jurisdiction into Kerry, notwithstanding Desmond's 
plea and subsequent appeal to the Chief Governor ; and there, after a short 
struggle with the Earl's followers, he proceeded at once to execute the law 
without any further obstruction. 

In the year 1576, Thomond according to the annals of the Pour Masters 
was separated from Connaught and jomed to Munster. The annals for the 
year 1577, which is memorable for the massacre of the men of Leix and 
some of the Keatings at Mullaghmast by the English, aided, some say, by the 
©""Dempseys, mention a visit paid to Thomond at this period by the Lord 
President, accompanied by a great multitude of the Enghsh and the chiefs 
of the two provinces of Munster, on which occasion he held a court for 
eight days at Ennis, and " the Dalgais having refused to become tributary to 
their sovereign, he left,"*' says the annalist, " a marshal with a vigorous and 
merciless body of troops to reduce them. The President then returned to 
Limerick, and proceeded to behead the chieftains and rebels of the districts 
adjacent to Limerick : amongst these was Murrough the son of Murtough, 
son of Mahon, son of Donough, son of Brian Duv O'Brien, the most re- 
nowned and noble of the heirs of Carraigh O'Coinnell and Eatherlah," now 
Carrick O'Gunnell and the Glen of Aherlow, in the county of Tipperary.' 

In this year Thomas Leary, Catholic Bishop of Kildare died in banish- 
ment. ^ The Earl of Thomond, Conor O'Brien, m the same year, according 
to the annals of the Four Masters, went to England to complain to the queen 
of his distresses and oppression, and obtained a charter of his territory and 
towns, and also a general pardon for his people. He received great honor 

' Annals of the Four Masters. 2 Kothe's Analecta. 


and respect from Elizabeth^ but he was disappointed in his expectations that 
thenceforward his territory would be free from the unjust jurisdiction of the 
Marshal, who before the EarPs return had unposed a severe burden on the 
people, so that they were obliged to become tributary to the sovereign, paying 
ten pounds for every barony. " This^-" adds the annalist " was the first tri- 
bute paid by the Dalcassians." For they had been free from tribute before 
the EngUsh invasion, and they had resisted the payment of tribute up this 

In 1579 Thady Daly, a Franciscan of the convent of Askeaton, was executed 
in Limerick for the faith. Edmond Donnelly, of the Society of Jesus, a 
native of Limerick, after suffering different torments, was hanged and quar- 
tered in Cork.^ 

In the same year Nicholas Stritch, Mayor of Limerick, presented Sir 
William Pelham the Lord Justice with a thousand citizens well armed ; with 
these forces Sir WilUam marched to Fanningstown, where he was presented 
with letters by the Countess of Desmond, to excuse her husband for not 
obeying the Lord Justice ; these were Med with evasions and trifling excuses. 
Desmond was proclaimed a traitor, and the army was ordered to enter his 
country with fire and sword, if he did not within tAventy days, surrender. 
In their progress they hanged the Mayor of Youghal at his own door.^ 

In this year was fought the celebrated battle of Manister or Monaster- 
nenagh, five miles to the north-west of Bruff — a battle of which such sin- 
gularly discrepant accounts have been given by O^Daly in his History of the 
Geraldines, and by Camden. The latter, who has been followed by Ware, Cox, 
and Leland, asserts that Sir John of Desmond was defeated with the loss of 
two hundred and sixty of his army, together with the famous Dr. Allen the 
Jesuit who was left dead on the field. Allen and Sanders, the Jesuit and 
Papal Legate, had arrived from Spain at Smerewick, on the coast of Kerry, 
in the previous year, with three ships, men and money, &c. O'Daly, who 
mentions the loss of Thomas Geraldine, Johnston, and Thomas Brown, 
Knight, says nothing about Allen. The Irish force assembled here by Sir 
John Fitzgerald, brother of the Earl of Desmond, consisting of 2000 Irish 
and Spaniards, headed by Father Allen, and aided by the abbot of the 
monastery, Avere attacked by Sir William Malby at the head of 150 
cavalry, of 600 infantry, and defeated with great slaughter, including a great 
number of the Clann-Sheehy. 

The Irish were well commanded by Spanish officers, and fought with such 
fury that the battle was a long time doubtful. The Earl of Desmond, who, 
with Lord Kerry, had viewed the action from the neighbouring eminence 
called Tory Hill, on perceiving the result, retired into his strong castle at 
Askeaton, where Malby remained nearly a week, the Geraldines every day 
threatening to give him battle, though they did not do so.^ Malby destroyed 
the monastery of that town, and then proceeded to Adare, where he remauied, 
subjugating the people of that neighbourhood until he was joined by Sir 
William Pelham the newly patented Lord Justice, the Earl of Kildare, and the 
Earl of Ormonde.'* During the engagement the Irish and Spanish soldiers 
took shelter in the abbey of Monasterncnagh, which suffered greatly from the 

' Rothe's Analecta. 

- Ware's Annals. 

•■' Annals of th« Four Masters. 

♦ Ibid. 



fire of the English cannon, the refectory and cloisters being destroyed, 
and the suiTounding walls razed to the ground, so that the monastery, 
though it survived until the dissolution, never recovered its original impor- 
tance. It was here that a horrible slaughter was made of the Cistertian 
monks by the murderous soldiers of Malby, who cut the throats of those 
defenceless recluses, and perpetrated the most revolting atrocities. ^ The 
Desmond castles, garrisoned by the English after this battle, were Loughgur, 
Kathmore, Castlemorrison, Adare, and KibnaUoch. 




The Earl of Ormond, in the same week, made a chieftaia's first expedition 
into the territory of the Geraldines, and proceeded as far as Newcastle West 
in the county Limerick, whence he carried off all the flocks and herds in the 
country that he could seize upon, but he returned back without receiving 
battle or conflict, because that at that time the Earl of Desmond was with 
his relatives in Kerry.^ 

The martyrdom of the holy Bishop of Mayo, Patrick Hely, and his com- 
panion. Father O'Rourke, occurred in this year at Limerick by the order 
of the Deputy, soon after his visit.^ Pope Gregory had earnestly recom- 
mended Father Patrick Hely to his flock in Ireland, on account of his 
" incredible zeal," and had him consecrated Bishop of Mayo. After a certain 
number of days the Holy Father, having provided him with whatever he 
required, sent him forward, recommending to him the care and spiritual 
health of the faithful in this country. The pious bishop proceeded on his 
journey, and having arrived at Paris he remained there for seven or eight 
months, where he spent his time, partly in the convent of his own order, and 
partly in the city itself; and, says my authority, he did not do so without meriting 
the hearty commendations of all who approached him, as he was not only an 
example but a perfect mirror for every one to see himself, not as he was, but as 
he ought to be ; and who was not only admirable for his talents and virtues, 
but in whom, charity, in particular, burned so strongly, that he may have been 
said to have been a warming "sun" {helios), who was not deterred by the most 
imminent dangers from studying the salvation of the Irish. He held a public 

' In the reign of Queen Elizabeth a part of the army entered the monastery of Nenay, or 
Maigue, sometimes called Commogue (see White's MSS.), in the county of Limerick, of the order 
of St. Bernard, and because the abbot and his monks would not renounce the Catholic faith, he 
and forty of his monks were put to death and afterwards beheaded, and that in the church in 
presence of the Blessed Sacrament. This happened on the 14th of August, the eve of the 
Assumption, says Broduinus. Angleus Manriquez and Chrisostome Henriquez tell a curious story 
about an old monk, the only one left alive by the victors, who, they state, entered the choir 
weeping copiouslj-, and found all his murdered brethren with a bloody mark round their throats, 
and with crowns on their heads and palms in their hands, singing the usual vespers, Deus in 
adjutornm, &c. 

2 Annals of the Four Masters. 

•■' Thomas Bourchier de Martyrio Fratrnm Ordinis Minorum Ingolstad, 1583, 


thesis in Paris, in which he manifested, in the most indisputable manner, the 
wonderful resources of his great intellect, in which, not only in the abstract 
sciences, but in the varied range of controversy and logic, he shewed a superior 
genius, astute, vigorous, complete, deficient in nothing that constituted the 
perfect theologian ; bending even to the studies of the juniors, and making 
easy to them the pathway of learning. In an age when learning was so gene- 
ral in France, and when Paris was filled with many of the ablest men of the 
age, the praise bestowed by Father Thomas Bourchier on Doctor Patrick 
Hely, would seem extravagant were it not vouched for by an earnestness and 
emphasis not to be misunderstood or mistaken, in the elaborate panegyric of 
the illustrious man who was soon destined to bedew the scafi'old with his blood 
in Limerick : his only crime was that he loved the faith and evangelised 
the poor. He had a full conception of the peril he incurred in coming to 
Ireland, where the ravening wolves which at this period, were thirsting for the 
blood of a priest, were sure to scent him out ; but he did not hesitate 
wherever zeal and obedience urged him forward. He resolved to bow to the 
mandate of the Holy Father rather than be dictated to by his own appre- 
hensions of what was to happen to him. He prepared, at once, like a good 
shepherd, who is ready to lay down his life for his flock if the occasion should 
arise. He made himself up for the voyage, therefore, and the ship which 
bore him having touched on England, he sailed for Ireland, which when he 
reached he at once proceeded to seek the Earl of Desmond. When he 
reached his residence, he found that the Earl was from home, but he was 
hospitably and politely received by his wife, the Countess of Desmond ; but not 
indeed to the honor of her name, must it, alas ! be told, that Like other 
women, she too acted a fearfully treacherous and dreadful part. " Like the 
dancing girl who brought the head of Saint John to Herod — like Delilah who 
shore Samson of his strength, .and delivered him into the hands of the Phihs- 
tines — like the woman who caused the fall of David'''' — this lady of the house 
of Desmond, forgetful of everything that became her position and name, 
betrayed the holy Doctor Patrick Hely and his companion. Father O^Rourke, a 
native of Connaught, into the hands of their enemies, after a period of about 
three days. 

On the day after this visit he departed for Limerick, which Bourchier de- 
scribes as at this time the first city in Munster, in which, as there were many 
Catholics, Hely expected to gather good fruit in the vineyard of souls ; and 
there, his intended work and mission having been made knowTi to the Mayor, 
through the exertions of the Countess of Desmond, he was cast into prison. 
The enterprize was unquestionably a most perilous one, and the holy Bishop 
must have been perpetually aware of the snares which awaited him in a 
locality where destruction was prepared for the devoted sons of the Church. 
But he was so fiUed with love of his heavenly Father, as Father Bourchier 
observes, that he despised aU terrors. He Avas immediately transmitted 
from Lunerick to the town of Kilmalloch, where at that time the Deputy 
resided, and by his orders sentenced with his companion to death, without any 
other form, except the process of martial law. The Deputy, however, offered 
him fuU right and possession of his benefice, provided he would deny the 
faith and betray his whole business to him ; to which the bishop replied, that 
as regarded his faith, he would not part with it for the enjoyment of life 
and honors ; but as for the business on Avhich he had come, he said he came 
to discharge the episcopal function (which he had openly professed to do) 
and thereby to promote the cause of religion and effect the salvation of soids, 


nor did he refuse a death which was attended by any advantage to religion^ 
or even avoidance of disadvantage. The Deputy fui-ther called upon liim to 
reveal the plan formed by the Pontiff and king Phihp of Spain for the 
invasion of Ireland, which he absolutely refused to do, although his silence 
was the cause of grievous tortures to him.' For, placing small iron bars 
across his fingers, they struck them so violently with a hammer, that his 
fingers were cut to pieces, and as he still refused to reveal anything, they 
immediately led him to the gallows. WhUe he was being conducted to the 
place of execution he asked permission to read the litanies and to receive 
absolution from his companion, and to give it in turn ; both of which he was 
permitted to do. He then exhorted his companion, who was affected by a 
natural horror of death, to be of good cheer, for that though the feast was a 
bitter one, the triumph would be noble. Having restored his companion's 
courage by this exhortation, and made a most impressive address to the people, 
in which he spoke at length of the necessity of preserving an unswer\ang 
faith, and of his professional duties, for asserting which he, together with his 
companion, cheerfully met a happy death for the love of Christ, both were 
immediately hanged. But Bourchier observes, that the Deputy who passed 
sentence on the bishop, was immediately after seized with an incurable 
disease of which he died at Waterford, '' though struck by no wound, as one 
who undoubtedly fell under the vengeance of God.'' Be the cause of his 
death what it may, certain it is that Sir WilKam Drury, the Deputy or Lord 
Justice, who had been simimoned from Cork to Kilmalloch, to suppress the 
insurrection which had suddenly burst forth on the arrival of James, the son 
of Maurice, formerly temporary leader of the Geraldines, who had recently 
landed from France with a supply of men and arms, to raise the standard of 
the Pope amongst the disaffected Irish and EngHsh, did die at Waterford, 
whither he had returned, and was succeeded in his office by Sir William 
Pelham. Dr. Patrick O'Hely, who thus suffered with Father Cornelius 
OTuourke, and another whose name is not mentioned, was, as I have stated, 
bishop of Mayo ; both martyrs were of the Franciscan order. They were 
hanged upon a tree, and their bodies remained suspended for fourteen days, 
to be used as targets by the soldiery.^ 

As a proof that this persecution was not confined to Limerick, we may men- 
tion that in 1579 Thomas Hierhhy, Bishop of Eoss, who was born in the 
country of Ross, in the district of Carberry, was raised to the Bishoprick of that 
see, and assisted at the council of Trent in 1563, together with Donald 
Magongail, Bishop of Eaphoe, and Eugene O'Hair, Bishop of Achonry. Upon 
his retm-n to Ireland, he endeavoured to enforce the decrees and discipline of 
that council: he was driven from his see in 1570, and fled from the violent 
persecution against him into a small island, where he was taken, together 
with his chaplain, by the eldest son of O'SuUivan, and delivered up prisoner 
to Sir John Perrott, President of Munster. He was sent prisoner to England, 
and for three years and seven months was confined in a dark nauseous dungeon 
of the tower of London, together with Richard Creagh, Primate of Armagh. 
He was there offered great honours and dignities if he would renounce the 
faith, which offers he constantly rejected and chose death in preference to 
them. At length, Cormac McCarthy becoming bail for him, he was released 
out of the tower and returned to Ireland : upon his landing in Dublin, he 

1 Bourchier, p 167, &c. 

* Bourchier, Wadding ; and Bruodin, Passio Mart. p. 437. 


was again apprehended and confined, until by letters from London, the 
government was assured of his being enlarged there. Upon his return to his 
own country he retired from the noise of the world, and built, for himself, 
near the side of a lonesome wood, a Httle cabin made up of wattles, wherein 
he spent the remainder of his days in divine meditations, in consoling his 
distressed flock, in administering the sacraments, and in aU other works of 
piety and charity ; at length, consumed with labour and overcome by many 
hardships, he died, in the odour of sanctity, in the year 1579, and was 
buried in a convent of Franciscans in Muskerry, called the Cellecrea.* Nor 
were these dreadful crimes perpetrated on such men only as Doctor Hely, and 
his companion. Father 0''Rourke, and the Bishop of Ross ; the terrors of the 
time are indescribable. On the 11th of February, a commission of martial 
law was sent to Sir Warham Saint Ledger, then the Lord Justice, who re- 
mained three weeks at Waterford, whence he went to Clonmel, where Ormond 
met him, and thence to Limerick. His baggage was carried a great part of 
the way on men^s shoulders for want of carriage horses, or because of the 
badness of the way, or both; and at Limerick, the chancellor of the diocese 
was found guilty of high treason, for corresponding with Desmond, but he 
made a shift to get a pardon, while the Bishop of Limerick, who was also 
shrewdly suspected, was merely confined to his house.^ On the 10th of March, 
Ormond and the Lord Justice met at Rathkeale ; next day they passed over 
the bridge of Adare, and returned at night and invaded ConneUoe, and having 
done what mischief he could there, proceeded to Carrigfoyle, which he took, 
and hanged Captain Julio, an Itahan engineer, who commanded the garrison ; 
and on the 3rd of April, 1580, laid siege to the castle of Askeaton, one of the 
most magnificent castles in the country, which the garrison deserted, and which 
the Lord Justice partially destroyed by gunpowder, leaving the towers un- 
touched, as they remain to this day. Askeaton and Ballyheige castles, 
in Kerry, which were taken at the same time, were the last castles of the great 
Desmond. Having left four companies at Askeaton, the Lord Justice re- 
turned to Limerick on the 5th of April ; Ormond proceeded to Kilkenny, 
Malby to Connaught, and the others to Dublin.^ But the Lord Justice did not 
rest in Limerick. He proceeded (" by sea" ?) to Adare, and sent Captain 
Case by land, where, we are told, they both returned " after the slaughter of 
many traytors, with a prey of twelve hundred cows and as many sheep."* 
On the 15th of May he received a commission from Elizabeth to be Lord 
Justice, and another to make Sir Wilham Burke Baron of CastleconneD, with 
a yearly pension of a hundred marks during life.^ On the 13th of this month 
Pope Gregory the Thirteenth granted to all Irishmen who would fight against 
the Queen, the same plenary pardon and remission of all their sins, as to 
those that were engaged in the Holy War against the Turks. ^ 

' Rothe's Analecta. 

' Cox, Hibernia Anglicana, p. 363. 

' Cox, Hibernia Anglicana. * Ibid. 

* The Four Masters give a more particular and accurate account of this expedition, in which 
they mention the townlands through which the Lord Justice passed, and show that " the tray- 
tours" they killed, were not only men fit for action, but " they killed blind and feeble men, 
Avomen, boys and girls, sick persons, idiots, and old people." They add, that a great number 
were killed by the plundered parties, who followed them to the camp. — Annals of the Four 

fi Sullivan's Catholic History, p. 101, and Peter Walshe's Remonstrance. 





On the 8th of July, the Lord Deputy continuing in Limerick, the Catholic 
Lords of Munster were summoned before him; they were charged with 
correspondence with the rebels ; they submitted, with the exception of Lord 
Barry ; but repenting of the terms, they -withdrew their submission, and were 
confined to their chambers in consequence, until they had bound themselves 
to maititaia two thousand men during the war. It was at this time that the 
queen's fleet reached the coast of Ireland, and made no delay until they cast 
anchor in the Shannon, opposite Carraigh-an-Phuill.i 

About Whitsuntide following, the Lord Justice proceeded back to Askea- 
ton, where he spent a considerable part of the summer, and never ceased, 
day and night from persecuting and extirpating the Geraldines.'' Having 
perpetrated several revolting atrocities, he passed by a transverse course to 
Cork, and back to Askeaton and Limerick. He had in his custody, the 
Chiefs of Munster (the Geraldines only excepted) as hostages on this 
occasion, namely, Barrymore, the wife andson of MacCarthy More, the two 
sons of MacMaurice of Kerry, O'Sulhvan Bear, MacDonough McCarthy, 
Chief of Duhallow, and the son of MacCarthy Eeigh.' While the Lord Justice, 
Sir Wmiam Pelham, was at Limerick, Arthur, Lord Gray, Baron of Wilton 
and Knight of the Garter, arrived m Dublin; and the Lord Justice surrendered 
the sword to him, having left Limerick for Dublin for that purpose, and 
sailed for England. 

The reign of terror proceeded unchecked and rampant ; in the church of 
the parish of Mahunagh, county of Limerick, dedicated to St. Nicholas, 24 
poor old people were put to death on the 6th of August, 1581. Gelasius 
CQuillenan, a Bemardine abbot of Boyle, and Eugene Crane were martyred. 
Daniel O'Nieilan, a Franciscan, was martyred at Youghal by John N orris, 
mayor. Laurence O'Moore, a priest, Oliver Plunkett, a gentleman, and 
Wilham Walsh, a soldier, were shot to death by a party in hatred of their 
rehgion, 11th November.'' 

An Italian or Spanish fleet of the " Pope's people" landed in Kerry in 
the September of this year ; their arrival caused the greatest excitement in 
Limerick, so much so, that had they appeared at the gates of the city, they 
would have been thrown open to them, such was the idea of their strength 
and importance among the citizens, who viewed the expedition with contend- 
ing feelings of hope and dread.^ They landed at Port-del-or, which is 
situated on an island connected with the South shore of Smerewick Harbour, 
and which James of Desmond fortified the year before. O'Sullivan, in his 
Cathohc History, gives a description of the island, near which is a green 
round hill called Cnoc-na-geaan, i.e. hill of the heads, whereon, tradition has 

' The Four Masters and Ware state that it was the occupants of the Castle of Askeaton who 
pndeavoured to blow it up ; and the Four Masters add that, not being able to destroy it, they 
opened wide its gates, and the next day it became the property of the Queen, This was the first 
time that ordnance was used in the district, and the terrible roar of " those unknown gnns, the 
like of which had never been heard before," had a dreadful effect on the occupants of the Castle. 

* Annals of the Four Masters. " Ibid. 

* White's MSS., and Analecta. s Arthur MSS. 


it, the English were encamped when they stormed the fort. This fleet was 
induced to come to Ireland to assist the Geraldines, who, it was known 
abroad, had been reduced to great extremities for their devotion to Ireland, 
and their defence of the Catholic faith and of Catholic interests. The Earl 
of Ormond mustered an army to oppose the expedition, and did not halt 
until they arrived in Kerry ; after a good deal of parleying and diversation, 
the Italian Captains, Stephen San Josepho, Hercules Pisano, and the Duke 
of Biscay, " came to the Lord Justice as if they would be at peace with 
him;^^ but the people of the Lord Justice went over to the island, and 
proceeded to kill and destroy the invaders, so that even of the seven hundred 
Italians not one escaped, but all were slaughtered as they cried out, miseri- 
cordia, misericordia} The Lord Justice also seized upon much gold, wealth, 
and other things which the Italians had with them ; he destroyed the for- 
tifications on the island, in order that it should not be a supporting rock or 
a strong retreat for insurgents any longer ; and having effected all this in 
the month of November, he returned to Limerick, and thence to Fingal. 

With respect to the Italian captains, there is but one opinion on the part 
of Camden,^ Muratori, and O^Daly, and that is, that the principal man among 
them, San Josepho, was either a downright imbecile, or an accomplished 
traitor.' Donough and Mahon O'Brien continued to worry and lay waste 
the country from Burren to Limerick ; and John, the son of the Earl of 
Desmond, was, at this time, a roving plunderer ; but though in so miserable 
a plight, he commanded a body of one hundred followers, with whom he did 
execution in Upper Ormond and Eliogarty, retreating to the woods about 
Mountrath, where he was jouied by the sons of MacGillapatrick, the son of 
O'CarroU, and a great many others, who harassed the country in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Slieve-Bloom mountains, being joined by all the men of 
Offally and Leix who were able to bear arms.'* 

The blow struck at the power of the Desmonds, and the cause in which 
the Catholics of Ireland had their hearts, was felt so much, that disappoint- 
ment and sorrow were universal. Sir George Bourchier was selected Governor 
of Munster before the departure of Sir WilUam Pelham, and was in the city 
of Limerick acting in his official capacity, during the events we have been 
describing. In 1581 the Earl of Desmond, notwithstanding his reverse, made 
many successful incursions. Upon one occasion, however, a bold and merciless 
body of " the soldiers of Adare,'' having been divided into two parties, went 
forth, the one by water, the other by land, to traverse Kerry, and the lands 
lying along by the banks of the Maigue, to seek for fighting or booty. The 
two parties having been met together in the neighbourhood of Ballycal- 
hane, by young David, ancestor of all the families of the PurceUs, 
according to Mac Firbis's pedigree, and his forces, charged them, so 
that he left them but a heap of bloody trucks and headless carcases. When 

' Ware's Annals. ^ Life of Queen Elizabeth. 

' O'Daly, who is a competent authority, expresses his belief that he was a traitor. 

* The manner in which John lived on this mountain was worthy of a true guerrilla ; he slept 
but upon couches of stone or earth ; he drank but from the pure cold streams, and that with his 
hands or shoes ; his cooking apparatus were the long twigs of the forest, with wliich he used to 
dress the meat he carried away from his enemies, llad John been able to join the Italians and 
Spaniards, as he intended, and in which intention he was seconded by James Eustace, Viscount 
Baltinglass, who had ronoimced the Protestant creed, and became a Catholic, by the Kavanaghs, 
Kinsellagles, Byrnes, and Tooles, (Annals of the Four Masleis) he would have prevented the 
slaughter which cast a stigma on the Lord Justice and Ormond, and enabled the Italians and 
Spaniards to keep their ground firm in Smercwick, and march into the interior. 


the news reached Adare, Achin, the captain of the town/ assembled the 
soldiers of Kilmalloch^ and set out at the head of a sanguinary body of troops, 
and slew every man, Avoman and child he met outside Ballycalhane Castle, 
(near Kildimo) which belonged to PurceU, who had assisted the crown from 
the commencement of the war between the English and the Geraldines to that 
time. On the following day David^'s people were hanged on the nearest trees ; 
and the heroic soldier himself was sent to Limerick, where he was immediately 
put to death. Nicholas, the agent or treasurer of the Geraldines, was slain 
by the soldiers at Adare in this year, and Turlough O^Brien, uncle of the Earl 
of Thomond, who, after being a year in prison, was hanged in Galway, his 
execution being followed two days after by that of WiUiam, son of the Earl 
of Clanrickarde, whose sons had rebelled against the authority of the crown. 



In this year^ the two sons of MacMaurice of Kerry made their escape 
from the King's court in Limerick, the Council having resolved to put them 
to death. They soon found themselves supported by hundreds of kerne, 
and they spent the remainder of the year in acts of piUage and insurrection. 
In the winter of this year Dr. Saunders, the Pope's legate, died in a miserable 
hovel in the woods of Claenglass, worn out by cold, hunger, and fatigue. 
The government had offered to pardon Desmond if he would give up this 
eminent ecclesiastic to them, but tliis he steadily refused. His companion 
in misfortune, the Bishop of Killaloe, who attended him in his last moment, 
escaped to Spain and died in Lisbon, A.D, 1617. It was to the fastnesses 
of Caenglass, which is situate in the south of the county of Limerick, and 
to the adjacent woods of Kilmore, that John Desmond, who still protracted 
this wretched stmggle, was in the habit of carrying his spoil. In this year 
Hugh Lacy, Bishop of Limerick, died in gaol. He had been deprived by 
Queen Elizabeth. 

In 1582^ died Teige O'Brien (founder of the Ballycorick family) " a hero 
in prowess.'" He had been for some time Tanist of Thomond, but was 
expelled together with his brother by Donnell. He afterwards went to Spain 
and France, and thence to England, where he obtained his pardon and his 
entire share of the territory, except the tanistry alone. He was interred m 
the monastery of Ennis. Donogh O'Brien (son of Morrogh), who had 
joined the rebellious De Burgh the year before, having repented, returned 
back under protection ;* but the Queen's officers detected a flaw in the pro- 
tection, and hanged him in the gateway of Limerick ; he was buried in the 
monastery of Ennis. His castles and lands of Lemenagh, Dromoland, Bally- 
connelly, and other places, descended to his son Connor and his heirs, 
amongst whom is the present Lord Inchiquin, who established his right to 
that title in virtue of his descent from this Donagh, the founder of the 
family of Dromoland. There was no forfeiture, because Donagh fell a victim 
to martial l^w, which recognises no forfeitures. 


' Ware's Annals, and Annals of Four Masters. * Annals of the Four Masters. 

» Annals of the Four Masters. * Annals of the Four Masters. 

U'Donoghue's History of the O'Briens. Appendix. 


The attacliment of the Irish peasantry to the Geraldines was not less 
remarkable than that of the Scotch to the Stewarts. Notwithstanding the 
great rewards offered for the capture of their leaders, no one was found so 
base as to betray them, and yet the gallant John of Desmond appears to 
have fallen a victim to the treachery of one of his followers, if we are to 
believe O^Daly, Hooker and Cox. The story is thus told in the Annals of 
the Four Masters : — John set out accompanied by four horsemen to the woods 
of Eatherlack/ to hold a conference with Barry More, with whom he had en- 
tered into a plundering confederacy. He proceeded southwards across the river 
Avonmore in the middle of a dark and misty night, and happened to be met 
face to face by Captain Sicutzy [the Irish for Zouch], with his forces, though 
neither of them was in search of the other.^ John was mortally wounded 
on the spot, and had not advanced the space of a mile beyond that place 
when he died. He was carried crosswise on his own steed from thence to 
Cork, and when brought to that town he was cut in quarters, and his head 
was sent to Dublin as a token of victory. According to O^Daly, a wretch of 
the name of Thomas Eleming, who had been his servant, was the person who 
killed him. He adds that his head was spiked in front of the Castle of 
Dublin, and his body was hung in chains at one of the gates of the city of 
Cork, where it remained for three years, untU on a tempestuous night it was 
blown into the sea.' His kinsman James was hanged soon after, together 
with his two sons, but Lord Barry made his peace with the government. 

The savage rigor of Lord Grey had already offended even his own govern- 
ment. We have seen how after the surrender of Smerewick, with a savage 
barbarity only equalled by CromweU in after years, he had put every man of 
them to the sword, with the exception of the governor and a few of&cers. 
In consequence of this extreme severity, this Lord Grey, of whom it was 
said that " he left her majesty little to reign over but carcases and ashes,"* 
had been recalled, and Loftus, Archbishop of Dublm, and Sir Henry Wallop 
were appointed Lord Justices. By these Lord Justices first efforts were 
made to bring back Desmond to his allegiance, but without effect. To what 
a frightful state Munster was now reduced, may be seen in the pages of the 
annals of Hollinshed, of Fynes Morison, Cox, and particularly of Spencer, from 
whose remarkable description we make the following extract : — " notwith- 
standing that the same (Munster) was a most rich and plentyful country, 
full of corne and cattle, yet ere one year and a halfe they (the Irish) were 
brought to such wretchednesse as that any stony heart would have rued the 
same ; out of every corner of the woods and glynnes they came creeping forth 
upon their hands, for their Icgges could not bear them, they looked like the 
anatomies of death ; they spake like ghosts crying out of their graves ; they 
did eat the dead carrions, happy where they could finde them, yea and one 
another soone after, inasmuch as the very carcases they spared not to scrape 
out of the graves ; and if they found a plot of water-cresses or shamrocks, 
there they flocked as to a feast for the time, yet not able long to continue 
there withal, that in short space there were none almost left, and a most 
populous and plenty fuU country suddainely left voyde of man and beast.'"' 

' The Glen of Aherlow, four miles south of Tipperary. 

* A statement which is denied by the above-named writers. 

3 Ware states that the body was hanged by the heels on a gibbet by the north gate of Cork, 
and his head sent to Dublin to be placed on a pole upon the castle. 

* Cox, Hib. Ang. 5 Spencer's State of Ireland, p. 1C6. 


The annals of the Four Masters are almost equally graphic in their 
description of the ravages caused by these wars, when " it was commonly 
said that the lowing of a cow or the voice of the ploughman could scarcely 
be heard from Duncaoin, (now Dunqueen, the most western part of Kerry) 
to Cashel in Munster/^ 

Further persecutions and murders of Priests and religious were now per- 
petrated. Andrew Strich, a Priest, a native of Limerick, who studied in 
Paris, laboured greatly in the mission of Ireland, at length was taken and 
confined in Dublin, where he died with the hardships.^ 

In 1582 Donough Hinrechan, Philip O'Fen, and Maurice O^Scallan, all 
Franciscans, were stabbed at the altar in the Convent of Lislactin, county 
Kerry. 2 

The Earl of Desmond who was excluded from the amnesty which was now 
granted to the insurgents, occasionally gave proofs of considerable energy. 
He plundered the territory of Ormond, defeated the EngHsh in a hard fought 
battle at Gort-na-Piei, [Peafield in Tipperary] and cut to pieces a large force 
which had been sent against him by the brother and sons of the Earl of 
Ormond at Knockgraffin. He also despoiled the MacCarthys. But for 
sometime previously his people had begun to separate from him, and on one 
occasion^ when he had spent his Christmas in the wood of Kilquaig, near 
Kilmalloch, the garrison of that town were induced by the importunities of 
one John Walsh to endeavour to surprise him, and marching in the night, very 
nearly captured himself and his countess, who alarmed by the noise, got out 
of their cabin into the river, where they stood up to their chin in water on 
the bank side, and by this means escaped, but his servants were all killed, 
and his goods were carried away. In the summer and autumn of 1583,* even 
his countess, his children, and friends had begun to desert, so that at this 
period he had only four persons to accompany him from one cavern of a rock 
or hollow of a tree, to another throughout the two provinces of Munster.^ 
Deserted by his adherents he became a fugitive through the country, and 
was hunted from place to place, and was so well watched, that on one 
occasion when the Earl, accompanied by sixty gallowglasses, happened to be 
in the glen of Aherlow, the were surprised whilst some of them were asleep 
and some cooking horse flesh, by one Captain Dowdal who made prisoners of 
the first and cut the latter to pieces. The Earl however escaped and fled to 
Kerry, where he took shelter in a wood near Tralee. We give the rest of 
this melancholy story from the Annals of the Four Masters, with such cor- 
rections as their strong prejudices against the Geraldines require : — 

" When the beginning of winter and the long nights began to set in, the 
insurgents and robbers of Munster began to collect about him, and prepared 
to re-kindle the torch of war, but God thought it time to suppress, close, 
and finish this war of the Geraldines, which was done in the following way : — 
A party of the Moriartys of the Mang side [a family], of the race of Aed- 
Beannan [king of Munster, who died in 619^] took an advantage of the Earl 
of Desmond, whom they found in an unprotected position ; he was concealed 
in a hut in the cover of a rock in Gleann-an-Ghiniitegh \Glan-geenty , five 
miles east of Tralee] . This party remained on the watch around the habi- 

• White's MSS. » Analecta. 

' Cox, Hib. Ang. ■• Annals of the Four Masters. 

* Munater was divided into Thomond, Desmond, Ormond, and larmond, i.e. north, south, 
east, and west Munster. The two former are to be meant here. 

« Annals of Innisfallen. 


tation of the Earl from the beginning of the night until the dawning of d.ay ; 
and then in the morning twilight they rushed into the cold hut. This was 
on Tuesday, which was St. Martin's festival. They wounded the Earl, and 
took him prisoner, for he had not with him any people to make fight or 
battle except one woman and two men servants. They had not proceeded 
far from the wood when they suddenly beheaded the Earl. Were it not that 
he was given to plunder and insurrection, as he [really] was, this fate of the 
Earl of Desmond would have been one of the principal stories of Ireland.'-' 

P. O'SulHvan Beare does not mention the name of O'Moriarty in con- 
nexion with this murder ; but he appears to believe that the persons who led 
the soldiers to this place did not know that it was the Earl of Desmond 
that was there. He seems to think, however, that Daniel who slew the Earl 
was brother of Owen.^ Daniel O'Kielly, Kelly or Kolly, one of the soldiers 
who took the lead of the band, entered first and almost severed the EarFs 
arm mth a blow of his sword. The old man then exclaimed, " I am the 
Earl of Desmond, spare my life." Donnell O'Moriarty took him on his back 
and carried him some short distance, but finding he could not live, or fearing 
the return of the Earl's party, O'Kielly cut oft' his head at Owen Moriarty's 
desire.2 The Earl's head was fixed upon London Bridge, and his only son 
James, was kept prisoner in the Tower of London for many years after his 

O'KieUy, who was rewarded by government with a pension of £20 a year, 
was hanged in London for highway robbery. Owen O'Moriarty was also 
hanged some years after, in the insurrection of Hugh O'Neill, by FitzMaurice 
of Lixnaw, the family having become excessively unpopular on account of 
the part they had taken in this tragic occnrrence ; O'Sullivan says that the 
place where his body was killed still continues red. The spot is still called 
Bothar-na larla, [the Earl's Eoad.] Thus ended the rebellion of the 
great Earl of Desmond, whose character has not been very favourably 
drawn, even by Thomas Moore, who describes him as weak of understanding, 
and violent in temper, rather than naturally depraved.^ MacGeogheghan* 
says of the Eitzgeralds of Desmond, " the Maccabees of our day, who sacrifice 
then- hves and property in defence of the Catholic cause." His extensive 
estates, the revenue of which, according to the same authority exceeded at that 
tirae 400,000 crowns, were surveyed by Sir Yalentme Brown, ancestor to Lord 

1 O'Donovan's Notes to Annals, 1583. 

2 A preposterous attempt has been recently made to shield the respectable family of the 
Moriartys from the stain imagined to have been fixed upon the posterity of Owen or Daniel 
(Ormond, says " Donal") McMoriarty and their followers for the part which they took in the 
capture and killing of the last of the" Desmonds. It is stated by these that it was not Moriarty 
but O'Kielly, (erroneously called Kelly by Cox,) who murdered the eail. But the Annals of the 
Four Masters distinctly state the fact that the Moriartys not only wounded but put him to death ; 
and a letter written by Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormonde and Ossory, Governor of Munster in 
1583, addressed to the privy council and dated Kilkenny, 15th Nov. 1583, fully vindicates the 
veracity of the Four Masters, the truth of whose statements on this subject has been lately 
impugned by Mr. M. A. O'Brennan in a note in p. 163 of his " Antiquities of Ireland." 

Mr. O'Brennan has been satisfactorily refuted in a recent publication, a " History of Clanna- 
Rory," by Richard F. Cronnelly, (Dublin, Goodwin, Son and Nethercott, 79, Marlborough-street, 
18640 P-5G, 57, in which the authorities above alluded to are given. I am assured that the sept 
of O'Moriarty is called the Kiml na Mala in Kerry, that is " the breed of the bag," in reference to 
the bag in which the earl's head was carried ; and a learned member of the house of Fitzgerald 
has stated to my informant, that it was long customary in that family to ask " whether there was 
any Moriarty in the room ?" whenever they met en familk on festival or other occasions. The 
general tradition is that O'Kielly wounded the earl severely in the arm, and that the sept of 
O'Moriartj- cut off his head. 

» Jloore's Hist. IV. 95. * History of Ireland, translated by O'Kelly. 


Kenmare, and divided amongst the English, who supported the war against 
him, and particularly the Earl of Ormond, who had a large share of the 
spoils. The reader who remembers how the ancestors of this illustrious 
family obtaiaed their estates, will probably look upon their fate as a retribu- 
tion for the unscrupulous chivalry of the followers of Fitzstephen and 

1583. After the death of the Earl of Desmond all his followers submitted 
to mercy except John Bourke who stood out, and he with his company went 
to Adare to take a prey, but as he passed the castle a boy discharged a piece 
and shot him in the head. He was afterwards hanged at Limerick by the 
Commissioners. 1 

The Earl of Desmond^s estates in Cork, Limerick, Kerry and Waterford_, 
extended one hundred and fifty miles, and contained 574,628 acres. John 
Oge, the son of John, son of Thomas, the Earl, died at an advanced age in 
Limerick, his sons having joined the Earl of Desmond.^ 

The Arthur MSS. mention a curious occurrence which took place at Lim- 
erick about this time. One Stephen Eochefort, having married a lady named 
Catherine Wolfe, had excited the jealousy of a certain James Cromwall to 
such a pitch of madness, that he conceived the idea of mm^dering his fortimate 
rival. Availing himself of the occasion of a review, or muster of the city 
militia train-bands, Cromwall, in prosecution of his wicked scheme, discharged 
a double ball at him while he was reviewing the men, and shot two other 
citizens dead, the object of his murderous revenge escaping the intended 
blow. For this offence the assassin was hanged upon a gibbet, cut down 
while still ahve and decapitated ; after which his body was cut into four 
quarters. The nulitia of the city at this time amounted to 800 men, while 
"VYaterford had only 600, and Cork 400, from which the comparative popu- 
lation of Limerick at the period has been reasonably inferred to have been 
proportionately superior to either of those cities.^ 

' Dr. Smith's MS. in the Royal Irish Academy, p. 150; Cox, and Annals of the Four 

* Annals, ad an. 1583. 

' The following is the list of the Militia of Munster in this year, as given by Cox : — 



The City of Waterford 



Cork - - . 


























The Barony of Muskerry - 






The County Tipperary 



The Barony of Decies 









Lord Barry's Country 



MacCarthy More 



178 2640 


In the same year, Brien Duv O^Brien made a surrender of his Lordship of 
Carrigogunnel, which was immediately returned to him under a new grant. ' 

The death of the Earl of Desmond was followed by a period of tranquillity. 
The hopes of the disaffected were extinguished, and desolation and famine 
followed the ravages of five years of civil war. Sir John Perrott was sworn 
into the office of Lord Deputy on the 26th of June, 1581, and after making 
a progress to Athlone and Galway, attended by Sir John jNTorris and Sir 
Eichard Bingham, who were respectively Presidents of Munster and Con- 
naught, arrived at Quin in the county Clare, where Cruise, the sheriff of 
the county, dehvered up to him Donogh Beg O^Brien, styled by the Annal- 
ists, in their excessive loyalty, the arch traitor and leader of the plunderers 
of Connaught : — " whose body, mangled and half dead after hanging, was 
affixed, fastened with hard and hempen ropes to the top of the steeple of 
Quin as a warning to evil doers." Turlough, son of Owney O'Loghlen of 
Burren, had been executed previously by Sir Edward Brabazon, the temporary 
governor of thje province. The Lord Justice went next day to Limerick, 
and was resolved, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, to destroy 
and reduce a great number of gentlemen on each side of Limerick, until 
news reached him that a Scotch lieet had arrived in the north of Ireland, 
whither Perrott proceeded at once, and promptly repressed the movement. 

In 1585 a parliament was summoned to meet at Dubhn, with the two-fold 
object of settling the country, and disposing of the vast forfeitures of the 
Desmond estates. A great number of lords and chiefs attended.^ In the 
second Session, which was held in the April of the next year, the late Earl 
of Desmond and a hundred and forty of his adherents were attainted, their 
property confiscated, and subsequently divided amongst English undertakers, 
who were invited from England to assist in repeopling the desolated regions 
of Munster; seven years were allowed to each undertaker to complete his 
plantation ; garrisons and commissioners were to be provided to prevent and 
settle differences. Each undertaker had Hcence to export all commodities 
duty free for five years ; the planters to be Enghsh, and no English planter 
to convey to any mere Irish — the natives bemg forbidden to have an}i;hing 

' The following -was the grant : — 

" A Grant to Brien Duffe O'Brien Mac Donagh of Carrigogjmnell, chief of his nation in Pobel- 
brien, and Lord of Pobelbrien (upon his surrender dated t)th July, 1584,) of all and singular 
Manors, Lordships, Castles, lands, woods, fisheries, advowsons and hereditaments spiritual and 
temporal of and in Carrigogynnell, Cloghey, Keatyne or Cloghakeatin, Derrecknokan, Loymeney, 
Bowbiglasse, Cnocknegall, Ballyvorroghowe, Cnocknegranshye, Garranemonagh, Ballyeahan, 
Cnockgromassill, Kyllenchon, Kyllynoghtie, Dromeloghan, Ballymeilly or Ballynvej'lie, Lackyn- 
vintane, Birrenegyhie, Ballynostie, Cahirephollyen-Graige, Ballyneennonoge, Atiflewin or Arti- 
flonj"-, Dawnin, Anaghenrostj'e, Cloghecokye, Barneehoile, Ballyanrichan, Balliv3dishe, Terrevowe, 
Clonounye, &c., to hold to tlie heirs male of his body, lemaincfer to his brothers Teige, Mathew, 
alias Mahowne, Derraone, Donalde, and Conogher O'Brien in Tail Mail successively in Capite, 
by the service of one Knight's fee, and the rent of £5 sterling for and in consideration of the 
like rent of £5 out of the premises, paid or due to Gerald, late Earl of Desmond, and his heirs, 
to find three suflicicnt horsemen, well furnished with horse and armour, with 3 hackneys for the 
said horsemen with their apparel and 6 footmen, alias shott or kerne, either Galloglas, such as 
the L. D. should chuse or think fit, where or when required, upon 20 days' warning or less, at 
their proper costs and charges, as necessity should require, and paying yearly out of certain of 
the premises for an increase or new rent 2s. sterling, and saving to the Queen the benefit of every 
composition of the premises to be made by the L. D. and Council, together with the benefit of 
every escheat and forfeiture of the premises, by reason of the attainder of Gerald, late Earl of 
Desmond, or other traitors attainted or to be attainted. — Dated, 17 Feb. loSi— Enrolled in Rolls 
Office, Duhl'm. 

2 See C Donovan's Notes for a most interesting account of the modern representatives of these 
families, whose names are published in the text of the Four Masters. 


Trhatever to do with the forfeitures. The undertakers were all EngKsh gen- 
tlemen; they were sent over to plant and occupy no less than 574,658 English 
acres of land in the counties of Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Kerry, which 
were divided into seignories, containing 12,000, 8000, 6000, and 4000 
acres, according to a plot laid down for the commissioners for that purpose. 
Smith* gives a Kst of the undertakers and their grants in Kerry, from which 
we take the subjoined particulars : — . - 

To Sh William Herbert, Knight, 13,276 acres, at £221 5s. 4d. crown rent 
per annum. 

To Charles Herbert, Esq., 3,768 acres, at £62 15s. 4d. per annum, crown 

To Sir Valentine Brown, Knight, 6,560 acres, at £113 6s. 8d., crown rent. 

To Sir Edward Denny, Knight, 6,000 acres, at £100 per annum, crown 

To Captain Jenkin Conway, 5,260 acres, at £8 18s. 8d. crown rent. 

To John Champion, alias Chapman, so called by Moryson and John Stone 
(neither of whose posterity in the male line remain in this country), 1,434 
acres, at £23 18s. per annum, crown rent. The first Earl of Cork purchased 
these lands from Chapman and Stone. 

To John Holly, 4,422 acres, at £73 14s. crown rent, of whose posterity, 
also, says Smyth, I find no remains. 

The Conways, Blennerhassets, Springs, Eices of Kerry, were settlers and 
undertakers in the same reign. The Eices settled or had possessions in 
Limerick county. James Eice, of Bally muddeU, son and heir of Stephen 
Rice, Esq., of Dingle, married Elinor, daughter of Eohert White, Esq., of 
Limerick, and, second, Phihis, daughter to Edward Eanning, Esq., of the 
city of Lunerick, and dying the 24th of February, 1636, had issue by 
the latter eight sons and three daughters, of whom Sir Stephen Eice, the 
fifth son, being bred to the law, was appointed the 1st of June, 1686, one of 
the Barons of the Exchequer, and April 11th, 1687, Chief Baron of that 

After the undertakers had been appointed. Sir John Perrot gave the charge 
of the county of Desmond to the Earl of Clancare, Sir Owen O'SuUivan, and 
O^SuUivan More ; and the palatinate of Kerry to the government of the 
Queens's Sherifl^ and Lord of Kerry.^ The work had been so effectually 
accompHshed that the undertakers were able to settle down and possess the 
enormous estates, which constituted the chief forfeitures in the kingdom in 
those troubled and disastrous times. 

Queen Elizabeth, understanding that the act, the 12th of her reign (where- 
by the Irish Prelates were strictly obliged to maintain free schools, according 
to the quantity and quahty of their dioceses, the Bishop paying one-third of 
the expense, and the clergy the other two-thhds) was so slenderly, or not at 
all, executed in Limerick, empowered the mayor of the city to sequester 
yearly, and from time to time, so much of the livings, tithes, &c,, as belonged 
to the Bishop and Clergy of the diocese. 

Soon after the prorogation of the parliament, Sir John Perrott resumed the 
work suspended by the recall of Sir Henry Sidney, whose letter referring to 
this subject we have alluded to heretofore, and after he had proved to the 

• History of Kerry, pp. 32, 33, 34, et Seq. 

* Sir Stephen Rice was the ancestor of the present Lord Monteagle of Brandon. 
» Smith's History of Kerry, p. 277. 


conviction, if not to the satisfaction of tlie lords and chiefs of Thomond, lately 
annexed to the Presidency of Connaught by the name of the county Clare, 
that the main canse of their troubles was the uncertain grant and possession 
of their lands. He had brought them, therefore, he says in his letter, to 
agree to surrender all their lands, and take it of her Highness the Queen, 
again, and yield both rent and service. The evils attendant on the system 
of cuttings and cessings, exactions made by the chieftains under pretence of 
defending the people, were enlarged upon in a commission now issued, and 
the commissioners began their work witii the county of " Clare and Thomond.'" 
Then followed the districts within the newly-created county of Galway, and 
" Indentures of Composition" were entered into for these territories. 

The nature of this Indenture appears from the following extract from the 
Pour Masters.^ 

" The governor of the province of Connaught with a number of other 
men of distinction, and of the council of Dublin, went to the province of 
Connaught, to hold in the first place a session in the monastery of Ennis, in 
the comity of Clare. Here they enacted universal ordinances, namely : — that 
ten shillings should be paid to the queen for every quarter of land in the 
country, as well ecclesiastical as lay lands, except the liberties which they 
themselves consented to grant to the gentlemen of the country ; and that over 
and above the queen^s rent, five shillings should be paid to the Lord of Thomond 
for every quarter of land free and unfree,^ in the whole country except the 
liberties and chm'ch lands. They took from the Earl of Thomond the dis- 
trict of Kcuel-Fearmaie [_" barony of Inchiquin,''^] which had been hereto- 
fore under tribute to his ancestors, and gave the Lordship of it to the Baron 
of Inchiquin, Morrough the son of Murrough, son of Dermot O'Brien. 
It was also ordained and decreed that Tmiough the son of Donnell, son of 
Connor O'Brien, should have the rents and court of Corcomroe, the Castle of 
Dumhach, in succession to his father, to whom it had first been given out 
of the Lordship of Thomond, by the Earl of Thomond, namely Connor the 
son of Donough O'Brien. They deprived of title and tribute, every ^head 

' Cox, Hib. Angl. See these indentures in Hardiman's edition of O'Flaherty's Description of 
Jar Connaught, pp. 309-362. 

The recital of the parties to the indenture about to be made contains the following list of the 
leading families of the County Clare at this period : — 

" Indenture made betwixt the Rt. Hon. Sir John Perrott, Knight, &c., of the one part, and the 
Lords Spiritual and Temporal, chieftains, gentlemen, &c., of that part of the Province of Con- 
naught called Thomond, that is to say, Donogh, Earl of Thomond, Morrogh, Lord Baron of 
Inchiquin ; the Reverend Father in God, Mauricius, Bishop of Killaloe ; Daniel, elect Bishop of 
Kyliinoraghe ; Donogh O'Hiran, Dean of Killaloe ; Daniel Shennagh, Dean of Killfinoragh ; 
Denis, Archdeacon of the same ; Sir Edward Waterhouse, of Downasse, Knight ; Sir Torlogh 
O'Brien, of Ennistevey (Innistymon), Knight ; John JLacnamara, of Knappock, otherwise called 
Macnamara of West Glancuilen ; Donald Reagh Macnamara, of East Glancuilen ; Teige Mac 
Mahon, of Clonderalaw, otherwise called MacMahon of Castle Corrovaskin ; Torlogh MacMahon, 
of Moyasta, chief of his name in West Corcovaskin ; Moriertagh O'Brien, of Dromleyne Glu ; 
Mahowne O'Brien, of Clondewan (Clonoon) gen. ; Owny O'Louglin, of the Greggans, otherwise 
called O'Loughlin ; Rosse O'Loughlin, of Glan Columkille, tanist to the same O'Loughlin ; 
Mohme and Dermod O'Dea, of Tullyadea, chiefs of their names ; Conor MacGilreogho (Gallery) 
of Cragboren, chief of his name ; Torlogh MacTeige O'Brien, of Beallacorriga, gen. ; Luke 
Bradey, son and heir of the late Bishop of Meath ; Edward White, of the Cralletagh, gen. ; 
George Cusacke, of Dromoglen, gen. ; Bocthius Clancy, of Knockfinny, gen. ; John MacNamara, 
of the Moetullon, gen. ; Henry O'Grady, of the Island of Inchicronan, gen. ; Donogh IMacClanchy, 
of the Lrlion, chief of his name ; Donogh Yarrav O'Brien, of Ballycessy, gen. ; Conor O'Brien, 
of Curharcercae (Cahercorcran), gen. ; and George Fanning, of Limerick, merchant, of the other 

» O'Donovan's Translation, ad. an. 1585. 

' See O'Douovaii for the meaning of this cxpressiuu. 


or chief of a sept^ and every other Lord of a triocha-ched (barony) tlirough- 
out the whole county, with the exception of John MacNamara, Lord of the 
western jDart of the district of Clann-Coilein, who did not subscribe his 
signature to this ordinance of theirs. They made similar compositions in 
the counties of Galway, Eoscommon, Mayo and Sligo."" Such was the 
manner in which the settlement of Thomond was effected. ^ 

About this time lived Eichard Creagh/ an illustrious native of the city of 

' Thi3 composition was signed by Murrogh and Murtagh, the last king of Thomond, by the 
former in person, by the latter through his nephew and representative. Sir Turlogh of Ennisty- 
mond. The majority of the chiefs, it may be presumed, yielded a reluctant acquiescence to thia 

2 We extract an account of his life and actions from the White MSS. : — 


1585. This great and illustrious Prelate and Primate of Ireland, was born in the City of 
Limerick, of honest and industrious parents. His father was Nicholas Creagh, a merchant, and 
his mother's name was Joan White ; in his youth he was bound apprentice to a grocer, which 
calling, as he did not like, it being exposed to commit frauds, he soon obtained his indentures, 
and applied himself closely to his studies, in which he made a great proficiency. He then went to 
Louvain, where he studied philosophy and divinity, and argued being made a Bachelor. Being 
promoted, he returned to his native country and city, where he laboured indefatigably by his 
private teachings, his public sermons, and by his instructing the children and the ignorant in the 
rudiments of the faith. After thus exerting himself for some time in the mission, he again 
went abroad, as well to perfect himself more in his learning, as to embrace a more austere and 
religious life, for which purpose he went to Rome, but was forbid by Pope Pius V. to become a 
Regular until His Holiness's will was further signified to him, for the Pope designed him for 
filling the see of Armagh, then vacant by the death of George Dowdall, Archbishop, which he 
accordingly did ; and as soon as Richard was consecrated he repaired to Ireland [Dowdall died 
in June, 1558 — Ware], where in a short time after his landing, he was taken and confined in 
Dublin. After being some time in fetters, he, together with his keeper, made their escape, and he 
again retired to foreign countries, where, after breathing a little liberty, and understanding that 
it was the will of his Holiness that he should again return to the mission of Ireland, he accord- 
ing!}' did so, and there, for a while, he most strenuously laboured for the edification of his flock, 
until he was again taken and brought to Dublin, where he was arraigned for being a transgressor 
of the law and a breaker of the jail. He justified himself with great presence of mind, acknow- 
ledged himself to be a Catholic Prelate, but denied his breaking the jail, whereas his keeper 
made off along with him. The judge made a malevolent charge to the jury against him — the 
jury, according to custom, were locked up, but disagreeing to their verdict, they continued some 
days shut up, living on bread and water, and at length brought him not guilty ; the jury there- 
upon were imprisoned and fined. The Prelate was transmitted to England, and fettered in a 
nauseous dark dungeon of the Tower of London ; he was allowed no more light than what served 
him to eat his victuals by, but which he served to say his oifice with, and he likewise contrived 
to save the fat of his victuals, and with a rag to make a kind of a candle whereby to have light 
to say his office. He was at length brought out of this dark dungeon, and lodged in a more 
lightsome apartment of the Tower. It was during his abode here that the new Bishops appointed 
by Queen Elizabeth to fill the sees of England, not being able to find any Catholic Bishop to 
give them consecration, had resource to Archbishop Creagh in the Tower ; for that purpose they 
therefore invited him to a neighbouring tavern ; they flattered and caressed him ; they offered 
him his liberty, the choicest church livings, the Queen's favor, and the highest bribes, if he 
would but consent to consecrate them ; but all their offers were in vain ; he would not betray the 

trust reposed in him, nor give the bread of the children to . Ward, in his cantos, thus 

satirically relates this passage : — * 

" The good Armagh, in pious rage. 
Curst gold and them, and to his cage 
He fled, where late he lay before 
Begging the turnkey of the doors 
To lay him fast in chains and gieves 
Secure from such unhallowed thieves, 
And never more to let him loose 
Until the happy fatal noose ' 

Should free him from imprisonment, 
And send his soul hence innocent." 
Some time after this affair with Parker and his fellow Bishops, a trifling passage put it in our 

* This answer given by Ward ma}- be contested by many circumstances, one of which is, that 
Pius V. was not Pope in 1559, the year of Parker's appointment. — Note by Dr. Young, Catholic 
Bishop of Limeriik, 


Limerick. Arclibishop Creagli was the relative of Dr. Thomas Arthur, 
who gives in his MSS. a copy of the Archbishop's Bull of consecration.* 

Prelate's mind to contrive his escape : a small bird came into his room, and as it were to show 
him, there began to prepare itself for flight, by composing its wings, stretching them, then flying 
from place to place, imtil at last it flew out. The Prelate thereat being inwardly moved, now 
found that he perhaps might also escape ; he threw himself on his knees, he begged God to drive 
that distraction out of his mind ; the same notion of escaping still returned to him — he packed 
up what little clothes he had ; he returned to prayers ; in short, he continued in a kind of anxiety 
and uneasiness of mind for some days — his nights were disturbed with visions in his sleep ; he 
could not expel the thoughts of procuring his escape, and as if he was inwardly moved thereto, 
in Easter week, he goes to the prison door, which he finds open ; he looks about him, and saw 

' Copia Vera Bullae qua Richardus Crevagh, Limericensis Sacerdos Assumptus est ad Archiep- 
iscopatura Ardmachanum totiusque Hiberniie Primatura. 

Pius Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei delicto Alio Eichardo Creuoch lecto Ardmichano Salutem et 
Apostolicam benedictionem. Divina disponente dementia cuius inscrutabile providentiaordinationem 
suscipuit universa ad apostolicre dignitatis apicem sublimitati ad universas orbis ecclesias aciem 
nostra considerationis extendimus et pro earum etatu salubriter dirigendo apostolice f avoris auxiliam 
adhibemus sed de illis propensius cogitare nos convenit, quas propriis carcre pastoribus intuemur 
ut eis juxta cor nostrum pastores prjeticiantur idonei qui comisos sibi populos per suam circum- 
spectionem providam et providentiam circumspectam salubriter dirigant et informent acEcclesiaruin 
ipsarum bona non solum gubernant utiliter sed etiam multis modis afferant incrementis. Dudum si- 
quidera provisiones Ecclesiarum omnium tunc vacantium et in antea vaciturarum ordinationi et dis- 
positioni nostraj reservavimus. Decernentes ex tunc irritum et inane si secus super his per quosqunque 
gravis authoritate scienter vel ignoranter contigeret attemptari. Et deinde Ecclesia Ardmachana 
cui bonEe memoriae Donatus Mac Teige Archiepiscopus Ardmachanus dura viverat praasidebat per 
obitura ejusdem Donati Archiepiscopi qui extra Komanam Curiam debitum naturae persolvit pastoris 
Bolatio destituta. ISTos vacationem hujusmodi fide diginis relatibus intellecta ad provisionem eiusdem 
ecclesiae celerem et f celicem de qua nullus prajter nos hac vice se intromittere potuit sive potest re- 
servatione et decreto desistentibus supradictis ne ecclesia ipsa longae vacationis exponatur incommo- 
dis paternis et solicitis studiis intendentes post deliberationem quam de prreficiendo eideni ecclesias 
personam utilem et etiam fructuosam suis fratribus nostris habuimus diligentem Demum ad te Pres- 
byterii Limericensis diocesis Baccalareum in Theologia de legitimo matrimonio procreatum et in 
setate legitima constitutum vitse ac morura honestate decorum in spiritualitus providum et tempo- 
ralibus circumspectura alijsque multiplicum virtutum donis prout etiam fide dignorum testimoniis 
accepimus insignatum direximus oculos nostrae mentis. Quibus omnibus debita meditatione pensatis 
te a quibusvis ex communicationis suspensionis et interdicti alliisqueecclesiasticis sententiis,censuri3 
et pjenis a jure vel ab homine quamvis occasionem vel carisre latissi quibus quomodo libet innodatus 
existis ad effectum prjesentium duntaxat consequentum harum serie absolventes et absolutum fore 
consentes,De persona tua nobis et eisdem fratribus nostris ob tuorum exigentiam meritorum accepta, 
eidem ecclesiEe cuius Preesul pro tempore existens Primas totius Hiberniae esse dignoscitur. De 
ipsorum fratrum consilio apostolica authoritate providemus teque illi in Archiaepiscopo preficimus 
et pastorem, curam et administratrionem ipsius ecclesiae tibi in spiritualibus et temporalibus plenarie 
committendo in illo qui dat gratias et largitur praemia confidentes quod dirigente Domino actus 
tuas prefata ecclesia sub tuo f slice regimine regetur utiliter et prospere dirigetur et grata in eisdem 
spiritualibus et temporalibus suscipiet incrementa. Jugum igitur Domini tuis impositum humeris 
prompta devotione suscipiens curam et administrationem praedictas sic exercere studeas solicite fi- 
deliter et prudenter quod ecclesia ipsa gubernatori provide et fructuoso administratore gaudeat se 
commissam tuque prseter aDteruEe retributionis premium, nostram et apostolice sedis benedictionem 
et gratiatTi exinde uberius consequi merearis. Quocirca venerabilibus fratribus nostris suffraganeis 
et Dillectis filiis capitulo et vassalis dictcB ecclesiaj ac clero et populo civitatis et Diaecesis Ard- 
machanae per appostolicae scripta mandamus et suffraganei tibi tanquam membra capiti obsequentea 
et capitulum tibi tanquam patri et pastori aniraarum suarura humiliter intendentes exhibeant tibi 
obedientiam et reverentiam delitas ac devotas. Ita quod mutua inteste et ipsos suffraganeos gratia 
gratos sortiatur effectus et nos seorum devotionem possimus propterea in domino coramendare, ac 
clerus te pro nostra et sedis praedictaj reverenter benigne recipientes et honorLfice pertractantes tua 
salubria monita et mandata suscipiant humiliter et ellicaciter adimplere procuret ; Populus vero 
te tanquam patrem et pastorem animarum suarum devote suscipientes ac debita honoroficientia 
prosequentcs tuis monitis et mandatis salubribus humiliter intendant. Ita quod tu in eos devotionis 
filios et ipsi in te per consequentes patrem benevolum invenisse gaudeatis. Vassali autem praefati to 
debito honore prosequentcs tibi fidelitatem solitam rec non consueta sevitia et jura tibi ab eis 
debita integre exhibere procurent Alioquin sentcntiam sive paena quam respective in rebelles rite 
tuleris sive statucris ratara habebimuset faciemus auctore Domino usque ad satisf actionem condig- 
nam inviolabiliter obscrvari. Datum Komae apud Sanctum Petrum anno incarnationis Dominicae 
1564. Unedocimo Kalend. Aprilis Ponlificatus nostri anno quinto, Cae. Glorierius. 

fr. De fforida. 
Se Cse. tan, Sccretarius Apticus Glorierius. 

HISTORY OF limerick:. 119 

Maurice Kenrichj of Kilmallock, a gi-eat supporter of tlie unfortunate 
Earl of Desmond, was another celebrated priest in these days of trouble and 
disaster, of which the general character is well indicated in such notices of 

every passage open before him ; he returns again, and had resource to prayers ; at length he took 
his clothes, -which he had packed up under his arm ; he goes out through a passage before un- 
known to iiim, and passes through six gates, all of which he found open, until he came to the 
outward gate, where there was a guard of soldiers ; he was asked by them if he had the marks, 
for that it seems was the watch now ; he, not understanding what they meant, was silent, upon 
which one of the soldiers prudentially said drilj', " you see he has his clothes under his arm ;" 
they thereupon asked him who he was. He confidently answered, he belonged to a great Lord (for 
there were some lords confined in the Tower); the soldiers said, they would bring him before a 
proper person to know the truth ; he answered, he could prove what he said before any one ; they 
thereupon dismissed him. He afterwards for three days strolled through London without know- 
ing any one ; as he passed along he often heard the Irish people talk of the Irish Bishop with 
the grey beard who escaped out of the Tower ; he even frequently met those who were in search 
for him, and with his very keeper, who was so blinded as not to know him. He agreed with the 
master of a ship for his passage to Flanders, but the master, as well as all his crew, were Presby- 
terians, and when they were just ready to sail, the Queen's officers came aboard, and put them 
all to their oath to tell if the old Irish Archbishop was aboard ; they all swore he was not, for 
that they had no passenger but a young Frenchman, for such they mistook him to be. When 
they were to sail from the English coast one of the sailors discovered his breviary, and 
the men were intent upon turning back in order to get the 300 ducats which were offered for 
taking him, but the winds immediately began to blow so hard against them, and so fair for 
Flanders, they were obliged to steer thither, where our Prelate safely landed. He continued in 
these Catholic countries for some time ; but it being intimated to him that it was the Pope's will 
he again should return to Ireland, he readily obeyed, and when he arrived in that country he 
went there — warmly exerted himself, not only in the cure of his flock at Armagh, but also in 
his assiduity in visiting all other parts of the kingdom, then in the greatest confusion on account 
of the wars which then raged, and that by the violent persecution most of the dioceses were de- 
prived of their Catholic Pastors. He was engaged in an unfortunate dispute with the O'Neil, 
Earl of Tyrone, who then at the head of the Ulster Irish waged war against the Queen. It 
seems that O'Neil unjustly seized and possessed many Church lands, which he turned to his own 
account, and likewise gave an unbridled liberty to his soldiers to plunder and ill-use ecclesiastics 
who came in his way. The Primate often laid these grievances before O'Neil, but instead of 
redress he met with insults and ill-usage from him. He used all possible means to reclaim 
O'Neil, but all was to no purpose ; wherefore he was under a necessity of excommunicating him. 
But O'Neil laid but little stress on his censures, which proved unlucky to O'Neil, for from that 
time forth none of his proceedings were attended with success. This Prelate was at length 
taken the third time, sent to Dublin a prisoner, where he lay confined, and from Dublin was 
again transmitted to London, and was shut up in the Tower, where he remained for many years, 
consoling his fellow sufferers wherever he got liberty to see them, employing all vacant hours at 
prayers, dispersing through the cit}"- salutary letters to confirm the Catholics in their faith, and 
exhorting them to abstain from resorting to the Protestant churches Avhich the laws urged them 
to. He and other Catholic prisoners were once compelled by the Lord Lieutenant of the Tower 
to hear a minister preach in the chapel of the Tower, who in his sermon greatly inveighed against 
the Catholics ; but Bishop Creagh on the spot stopped the preacher short, and began to confute 
his doctrine, but his mouth was firmly shut with bands, and he was brought back to his dungeon. 
A malicious accusation, which was framed against him, gave the Prelate a great deal of uneasi- 
ness. This was framed against him by one of the keepers, who alleged the Bishop ravished his 
daughter. He was obliged to stand his trial for it at Westminster, yet notwithstanding the 
virulence of the accusers, the jury brought in a verdict of his innocence — even the very girl 
publicly acknowledged the bribe she received for accusing him. He at length, after a tedious 
confinement, or rather a long martyrdom, finished his days in the Tower in the year 1585. 

There are some who say that the keepers of the Tower, being tired of his long confinement, 
and the expenses of his support, poisoned him with a piece of cheese which one of them reached 
him, and which he ate suspecting no fraud ; when he was, for some time, tormented with violent 
inward cuttings, he sent his urine by a boy to one Archow, a Catholic physician, who, as soon as he 
saw it, cried out, " The Irish Bishop is poisoned beyond all remedy." Perceiving his weakness to 
increase, and his end to approach, he sent to a neighbouring dungeon for one father P. Criton, 
of the Society of Jesus, detained likewise a prisoner there for the faith, who, having received his 
confession, and performed every other necessary which the place and circumstances would admit 
of, he never parted from him till the holy Prelate expired, tlie 14th October, 1585. 

It is said that the place in Connaught in which he was taken never since produced either 
grass or corn, and that when in the Tower he was closely manacled, yet when he was desirous 
of either erecting or opening his window for air, that his fetters would so far loosen as was 
necessary for what he wanted to do. Amongst other works of his, he wrote these books — viz., 
on the Origin of the Irish Language — on Controversy of Faith against Heretics — a Chronicle of 
Ireland and an Irish Catechism. His catechism was published in 15G0 (Dr. Young's note). He 


extemporary events as the following four entries in the chronicles of the 
times : — 

1584. Thady Clanchy of Ballyrobert, in the county of Limerick, was for 
the faith put to deaths 15th September — remarkable for his piety. — Analecta, 

1588. Dermot Mulroony, or Moroney, a native of the county of Clare, 
and son of the Franciscan Convent of Limerick, was taken at GalbaUy, and 

obtained from Gregory XIII. a yearly subsidy for supporting Irish students for the mission, and 
•was very intent on encouraging the Jesuits to come to Ireland. He was buried in the Tower of 

So far we quote from the Wliite MSS. 

While our illustrious Archbishop lay a prisoner in the Tower of London, he underwent a 
series of interrogations at the hands of Sir William Cecil, as to his going to Rome, and as to the 
English and Irish subjects who were acquainted with his movements. In Shirley's Original 
Letters there is a copy of the examination taken from the holograph of Sir William Cecil. The 
Archbishop gave an account of those with whom he was acquainted, and whom he met in Rome, 
including Murtough and Donough O'Brien, scholars, Dermod O'Thady, Conor og, Owen Myers, 
&c. Whilst he was in Korae he was succored by the Pope, both in meat, drink, and house rent, 
because he was sent thither by the Pope's command, which he was bound to obey by an oath 
taken when a student in Louvain. On being questioned as to how many English, Irish, and 
others, he made privy to the cause of his return into Ireland, he replied, that with the exception 
of an English Jesuit, who was at Dellingen, near Augsburgh, and two friars of St. Francis, an 
English and an Irishman, whom he met at Antwerp, and one Doctor Clement, who lived in that 
city, no one knew of the circumstance. Some j'oung Irish scholars had heard in Louvain, per- 
haps from persons who had come from Rome, of his appointment to the Archbishopric of 
Armagh. He said that he had spent a portion of his time in merchandise, which was true, — 
that he carried a letter from the Pope to Shane O'Neil, — that he did not endeavour to procure 
the Bishopric of Down and Connor for Shane's brother, a young man of twenty-three years of 
age, and unlearned, — that he was aware the Queen only could found a university, — that he was 
anxious to convert those who were given to all kinds of iniquities, to murders, &c. He stated 
that he lost part of a ship, esteemed to be worth nine thousand ducats, by the French gallies in 
the war in King Henry's time, and that a sum of £32 was taken from his brother by the 
searcher of Dover -when he was going with the monej' to Louvain, to pay for his (the Arch- 
bishop's) school expenses, &c. &c. This examination was taken on the 22nd of February, 
1564-'5, and on the 17th of March in the same year, another examination was taken by Richard 
Ousley, Recorder of London, and Thomas Wilson, Master of St. Katharine's Hospital, which is 
also given in Shirley's Original Letters. In this examination he stated that David Wolfe, a 
fellow citizen of Limerick, was the Pope's nuncio — that Wolfe was a professed Jesuit — that he 
had lived in Rome about eight years — that he was sent from Rome, by obedience, to Ireland, 
to see what Bishops did duties in this country, what sees were void, and that he himself had 
been most commonly in the Bishopric of Limerick, and had taught children there. His intro- 
duction to the nuncio arose from the fact that the nuncio had heard he was learned — that he so 
required him to go to Rome, and take upon him the Archbishopric of Cashel, and afterwards the 
Archbishopric of Armagh being void before his departure, the nuncio charged him to go to Rome 
for the Archbishopric of Cashel or Armagh, which he could not refuse, because when a bachelor 
of divinity in Louvain he swore obedience to the Pope, and therefore durst not disobey the 
nuncio. He stated that the nuncio gave him a letter to Cardinal Morone — that on his coming 
to Korae he delivered his letters to the superior of the Jesuits, he desiring to enter religion, but 
he was commanded shortly after by Cardinal Gonzage, who was acting in the place of Cardinal 
Morone, then at the Council of Trent, that he should not enter into religion till he had known 
the Pope's pleasure. In answer to further questions, he stated that when he was leaving Ireland 
the nuncio gave him forty crowns — that the Bishop of Limerick (Hugh Lacy) gave him twelve 
marks, " the which 12 markes he had as an exibion for his fyndy'g there," and twenty crowns he 
had of his own, and more he had not by credit or otherwise. On being questioned where the 
nuncio most commonly kept in Ireland, he stated that he had secretly come to Limerick, and 
had been the last summer with Shane O'Ncil in TjTone, as he heard, and that the letters he 
received were delivered to him in Limerick, in the presence of a Priest called Sir Thomas Molam. 
He stated further that he went out of Ireland two years before — that he came to Rome in 
January — that in February he was commanded not to enter into religion, and that afterwards 
be was charged upon the Pope's curse, not to refuse the Archbishopric of Armagh, and about 
Easter, twelve months after, he was consecrated by Lomelinus (Beneditto Lomellino of Genoa, 
born 1517, Clerk of the Apostolic Chamber, Bishop successivel}- of Anagui, Vintimiglia, Luni, 
and Sarzana, and afterwards Cardinal, died in 1579), and another Bishop, in the I'ope's chapel, 
and so came from Rome in July last past. He repeated that while in Rome the Pope bore all 
his expenses after he had warning not to enter religion, and had daily meat, drink, and wine, 
for himself and his servant at the Pope's cost — paying for his house room six crowns by the 
month, having had at various times from the Pope 700 crowns, of which he had 300 crowns 
from the Pope when leaving Rome, and 100 crowns from the nuncio — he had apparel of three 


was by the President of Munster executed^ the 2nd of March, upon his 
beheading a drop of blood did not flow. — Brocluinus. 

In the year 1591, which was also memorable as the year the CoUege of 
Dublin was founded by Queen Elizabeth, the murder of John, Lord Castle- 
connell by Arnold Crosby, for which the latter was hanged, excited a con- 
siderable sensation in Limerick. The melancholy event is thus curiously 
versified in Davis^s Manuscript Annals. 

1591. Oliver Bourke, Mayor. 

John Bourke, Lord Castleconnell, was basely slain 

By Captain Arnold Crosby, for they twain 

Resolved to fight ; — but Crosby stops, demurs, 

Prays Castleconnell to take off his spurs ; 

And as he stoop'd, yielding to his request, 

Crosby most basely stabb'd him in the breast. 

Gave twenty- one, all dreadful wounds, base act ! 

And Crosby's only hang'd for the horrid fact. 

1592. Eleven Priests and Jesuits were taken in Munster and Connaught, 
and sent prisoners to Dublm, where they were prosecuted by one Rally, who 
swore they encouraged people to take up arms ; among the prisoners was one 
Michael Pitzsimons, priest, a son to Alderman Pitzsimons of Dublin — he 
was executed in Corn market, Dublin. ^ 

1598. Edmund Gam-an, Primate of Armagh, was killed, whilst during 
the time of battle he was receiving the confession of a wounded man,^ 

In this year a rateable assessment was recommended for the Irish Corpora- 
tions, and Limerick was rated as 50 comparatively, and Waterford being 
assessed at 100, and Cork at 50.^ 

sorts, of blue and unwaterecl camlet, and wore them in Eome, where he had three servants 
waiting upon him ; at leaving Eome he had the Pope's blessing, and Cardinal Moronius told hira 
that the Queen (Elizabeth) would shortly' turn to the Catholic faith. He then mentioned the 
particulars of his journey from Eome, which are not of interest — that on his reaching London he 
went to see St. Paul's Church, Westminster Church, the monuments there, Westminster Hall, 
where he heard that Bishop Bonner was arraigned, but he did not see him. Being asked what 
he would have done if he had been received Archbishop of Armagh, he said he would have lived 
there quietly. Being asked what he would have done if he were refused, he said he would go 
back again to Louvain, as being discharged of his obedience, whereunto he esteemed himself 
bound in conscience. On the 23rd of March he made an explanation as to some points in the 
preceding examination. (Shirley's Original Letters). In this explanation he states that he had 
sent letters to several persons, including Eichard Arthur, that what he had learned of the Em- 
peror Charles and other good men's charges, and costs, he had bestowed to his poor power for 
the profit and wealth of the Queen's Majesty's subjects, young and old, " and thanks be now 
unto Almightie God and to her gracious highness for my rewarde, begeing hier in such pouertie 
(besides diners my pour bodys seknes) that I can nother day nother nyght change apparel 
hany'g of myself, nother of anny body one peny to cans the broken sherth that is on my back 
to be ones washed, whos incommoditie honestie will not have it declared, beside the myserie of 
cold, and such others without goune or covenient hose." He besought leave of the Queen to 
permit him to teach school, which he would do for nought, as he had never received a penny of 
the Church or ecclesiastical benefice during his life. This ended the explanation. 

Sir James Ware (Waris Writers of Ireland) states Archbishop Creagh wrote de lincjtia Hiber- 
nica, lib. 1 (which is yet extant in manuscript, and some collections from it are in Trinity College 
Library), an Ecclesiastical History, part of which was in Sir James Ware's time, in the possession 
of Thomas Arthur, Doctor of Physic* He is said also to have written de Controversiis Fidei 
(which possibly may be the same treatise that Stanihurst calls Responsiones ad Casus Conscientios, 
as his Chronicon Hiberni(e may be what the same writer calls Topographia HibernicB), Vitas 
Sanctorum Hibernise, and Catechismum Ilibernice. 

' Analecta. ^ ibid. 

3 1594. Eudox. But let me I praye you by the way aske you the reason, why in those cities 
either of Mounster, namely Waterford and Cork, you rather placed garrisons, then in all others 

* Dr. Thomas Arthur, above mentioned, Was the writer of the Arthur MSS. in my possession, 
and so often quoted in the course of this work. 


As it does not enter into our plan to give the details of the war of O'Neill 
and O'Donnell, we must pass over some of the most interesting portions of 
the history of Ireland to the events in the local history. The brilliant 
campaigns of O^Neill and the other chiefs of Confederate Ulster^ especially 
crowned by the victory of the Yellow Pord^ in which Marshal Bagnall_, with 
twenty-three officers and seventeen hundred men were left dead on the field, 
leaving their artillery^ arms, colors and baggage in the hands of the Irish, 
produced a pow^erful effect on the Catholics of Munster ; Sir Peter de Lacy 
of BruflF, invited the celebrated Eory O^Moore, who had recovered his chief- 
tainry of Leix, to Munster, and O'Moore having consulted O^NeiU, accepted 
the invitation, and despite of a show of opposition for Ormond, arrived 
without interruption in the county of Limerick ; Sir Thomas Norris marched 
to KilmaUock to oppose him, but he was obliged to retire to Cork, leaving a 
garrison behind him, and in his retreat, his rere guard was roughly handled 
by the forces of O'Moore. The success of O'Moore, produced an almost 
universal rising of the noblemen of Munster against the queen, but the 
Earls of Thomond and Ormond, and the Baron of Inchiquin did not join in 
the league, and their extensive influence prevented the MacMahons, the 
MacNamaras, the O'Connors, the O^Loughhns of Thomond, the O'Dwyers, 
the O'Eogarties, the O'Meaghers, the O'Moel Ryans, the O'Kennedies, and 
other chiefs of Tipperary from uniting against the queen. ^ The chief per- 
sons that joined the confederacy, were the Lords Lixnaw (Fitzmaurice), 
Fermoy, (Eoche), Mountgarret (Butler), Cahir (Butler), the Knight of 
Kerry, the Knight of Glyn, the White Knight, the three last bemg Geraldines, 
at the head of which sept O^Neill placed James, sou of Thomas Fitzgerald, 
surnamed the Red, and nephew of the last Earl of Desmond, being known 
in history as the sugan or straw rope Earl. This was the leader of the con- 
federates, who in Cork and Kerry were supported by most of the MacCarthies, 
O^SuUivans, O^Driscolls, O^Donoghues, O^Donevans and O^Mahons, and 
some months after the expedition of Norris, Thomas Burke, brother of the 
Baron of Castleconnell, left the queen^s party and went over to the confeder- 
ates, but went back again, and was subsequently killed with his brother. 
Lord Castleconnell, by one Dermod O^Connor, to whom they had refused 

in Ireland. For they may thinke themselves to have great wrong to bee so charged above all 
the rest. 

Iren. I will tell you those two cities alone of all the rest do offer an nigate to the Spaniard most 
fitly. But yet because they shall not take exceptions to this that they are charged above all the 
rest, I will also lay a charge upon the others likewise : for indeed it is his reason that the 
Corporate towns enjoj'ing great franchises and privileges from Her Majesty and living thereby 
not only safe, but drawing to them the wealth of all the land, should live so free as not to be 
partakers of the burden of this garrison for their own safety especially in time of trouble, and 
seeing all the rest burthened ; (and therefore) I will charge tbera thus all ratably according to 
their abilites, towards their maintenance, the which Her Majesty may (if she pleases) spare out 
of the charge of the rest, and reserve towards her other costes, or else adde to the charge of the 
residency in the North. 

Waterford C Clonmel X Dundalke X 

Corke L Cashell X Mollingare X 

Limerick L Fedard X Newrie X 

Galway L Kilkenny XXV Trim X 

Dinglecuish X Wexford XXV Ardee X 

Kinsale X Tredah XXV Kells X 

Youghall X Ross XXV Dublin C 

Kilmallak X in all 580 

Endox. It is easie, Irenaeus, to lay a charge upon any towne, but to see how the same may be 

answered and defrayed, is the chief part of good advisement Spencer's view of the recent state 

of Ireland._pp. 217-18. 
» Mac Geoghegan, p. 508. 



quarter. Most of the Englisli settlers, who occupied the lands of the Earl of 
Desmond, now abandoned their dwellings and were exposed to dreadful 
sufferings. The plantations was left without defence, and to add to the 
terrors of the insurrection, the country was menaced with a foreign invasion ; 
all the castles of Desmond were recovered, except those of Askeaton, Castle- 
main and Mallow, and the insurrection having thus attained most formidable 
proportions in Munster, the Leinster and Ulster confederates returned home, 
leaving Tyrrell to organise the forces of the new Earl of Desmond. 

In this year (1598-99), 41st Elizabeth, when James Cromwell was Mayor, 
and Philip Eoche and Thomas Burke were Bailiffs, James, the son of Thomas 
Geraldine began to wage war — against whom, Robert, Earl of Essex, Vice- 
gerent of the queen, came to Limerick at the head of a great many of the 
most honorable of the nobihty and with an immense army, and having pro- 
ceeded with his army to Moneroura, and Adare, he fought fiercely there. ^ 

In the Spring of 1599, O'DonneU, who had proceeded with Clanrickarde, 
and carried off great plunder, made an incursion into Thomond, where the 
insurrectionary' spiiit had already spread far and wide, not only by the success 
of O'DonneU, but by the bestowal of disproportionate honors on the Earl 
of Thomond and Lord Inchiquin, to the prejudice of the junior branches, 
who were greatly dissatisfied with the results of the insurrection. Such was 
the strength of the rebellion against the government at this time, that a 
particular return was given to the Lord Lieutenant of the number and dis- 
position of the Irish in arms.^ 

Many of these had sworn at a public cross to be steadfast and true to 
their religion ; and it was complained that even the Irish who were not out 
in action, were so backward in aiding the queen, that they who could 
bring 100 horse and 300 foot to dispute their private quarrels, would not 
bring six men to assist the state. ^ Essex marching to Limerick, and thence 
to Askeaton, Desmond and Daniel MacCarthy More, lay in ambush for him ; 
The iU management of the affair caused a feud between Thomas Plunkett and 
Pierce Lacy, in which the former Avas slain, while Henry Norris was slain in 
a bloody fight near Croom, and Desmond pursued Essex's rere for six days.* 

On the 29th of April, 1600, the garrison of KilmaUock ^^took the prey 
of Loughgur,''^ and soon after Barrett, Condon and the White Knight 
submitted to the President.^ In the May of this year the President caused it 
to be understood that it was his intention to march to Limerick on the 6th of 
the month. The rebels consequently met in great numbers at Ballyhowra, 
and continued together for ten days ; then partly for want of food, and partly 
because they beheved the President would not or dare not pass that way, they 

On the 21st of May, the President marched from Cork to near Mallow, 
and the next night near Kilmallock, the 24th to Bruff, where he left a 
garrison ; on the 25th he came to Limerick. On the 23rd, James Galdy, 

> Arthur MSS. 

foot horse 

2 In Leinster 3048 0182 

In Ulster 7220 1702 

In Munster 5030 0242 

In Connaught 3070 0220 

] 8368 foot 2346 horse.— Car. 
' Cox's Hibernia Anglicana. p. 416 * Ibid p. 417. 

•■' O'SuUivan's Catholic History. « Hib. Pacata, p. 60, &c. 


brother to the Lord Caliir and with his privity, by the treachery of an Irish 
sentinel, surprised the Castle of Cahir, but by way of set off, Owen Grace, 
the Governor of Loughgur Castle, delivered it up for a bribe, " not exceeding 
i,60." On the 30th of the same month, the President took Ballytarsney 
Castle, which the ward had deserted, and in which there was a great quantity 
of corn ; part of his army destroyed Owney ; the whole army then returned to 
Limerick, and garrisons were placed in Askeaton, Liccadownc, Kilmallock 
and Limerick.' Before the President departed from Limerick, the Earl of 
Thomond invited him to the Castle of Bunratty. Captain Gawen Harvie, who 
had sailed from Cork the day the President marched from that City, anchored 
in the Shannon, and brought with him, to the comfort of the army, money, 
munition, provisions and clothing for the soldiers ; a timely relief which pre- 
vented the loss of the summer service.^ The next morning, Captain Harvie 
was directed to go to the quay of Limerick, where after landing his charge, 
the President ordered him to go down the river with his ship and anchor 
opposite Glyn Castle, until he and the army had presented themselves before 
it. Dermot O'Connor, while the Sugan Earl lay in prison, took Ballyalinan, 
another Castle, belonging to Eory MacSheehy,^ and the president being in 
Limerick, O'Connor sent John Power, one of the ransoms, to tell him to 
draw all the forces he could gather to Kilmallock, which he did, and there 
the Lady Margaret after some days met him, in order that he should receive 
the sum of £1000 which was promised on the delivery of the prisoner. She 
told the President that Castleishin was besieged by the rebels, that her delay 
was occasioned by the dangers that lay in the road. The President proposed 
to raise the siege ; but before the army had moved a mile, a messenger came 
and stated that the Earl had been rescued that morning, and that he saw him 
out of the Castle.* 

• Hibernia Pacata. 

2 A.D. 1600 " The Victuals by reason of contrary winds, not being as yet come into the 
River of Shenan, the thirteenthe of this moneth he (Sir John Carew) was constrained for want 
thereof, to return to Limericlc again by which returne, we having marched though exceeding 
strong fastnesse, incamped the first night before the Castle of Corgroge, seated upon the Shenan 
belonging to Master Treiichard the Vndertaker, and of strength sufficient to hold out against 
any force except the cannon. But the example of the Glynne was so fearful to the Rebels, that 
upon the first summons they yeilded the same, with safetie of their lives, and the President 
gave the custody of it to Oliver Stevenson. The next day, the armie marched twelve miles unto 
Adare, a Manor house, belonging to the Earles of KUdare, wholy ruined by Pierce Lacy, from 
thence the President sent seven hundred foot, and seventie five horse to Askeiton, there to re- 
main in garrison : and in the same year we find the following letter from James FitzThomas. 
Ibid, page 191. 

" James FitzThomas his letter unto him. 
My good lord and cosen, j'our letters of the eighteenth of May, I received the five and twentieth 
of the same, wherein you relate the manner of your proceedings with the President at Corke, 
and also of his determination towards the west of my counterey. I thank God I prevented that 
which he expected here, for all the good pledges of the counterie are committed to Castlemague, 
for their constant behaviour in this our action ; the President with his force is come to Limerick, 
and intended presently to order towards Askeiton, where I propose with my armie to resist him, 
I pray you the better to further the service, and the more to coole the bloody desire of our 
enemy, let me intreate you to put in effect the meaning of my last letters, by drawing j'our 
forces to joyn mce, which being done, I doubt not, under God, to performe service that shall re- 
dounde to the general quiet of the countrie, and so, referring the due consideration thereof (to 
your Lordshipp's carefull vsage) I commit you to the most mightie : From the camp at Adare, 
this first of June, ICOO. " Your loving Cosen, 

The sufferings of the garrison were so great that water could only be obtained by digging a 
subterranean passage to the river. — Uibernia Pacata. 

3 Father to two brothers MacSheehy, who had been reserved as ransoms for O'Connor. 

* Castleishin is described in the Uibernia Pacata as near the great fastness of Connelloe. Its 
ruins are still visible in the townland of Knocktemple, county Cork, not far from the bounds of 
the county Limerick. • 


The President and the Earl of Thomond set out in the commencement of 
July from Limerick^ with a large muster of soldiers, marched westwards 
along the northern side of the Shannon, through Clare, until they arrived at 
Colemanstown, in East Corkabaskin ; they then were ferried across the Shan- 
non to the Castle of Glyn, before which they sat two days, and which they 
reduced with the heavy metal which had gone by water from Limerick, 
killing between twenty and forty gentlemen and plebeians of the Knight's 
people, who were guarding the castle, together with some women and 
children. The warders killed some of the President's soldiers. ^ This victory 
inspired the President with such coniidence, that he proceeded to demolish 
several castles in Kerry ; and returning victorious with the Earl of Thomond 
to Limerick, the greater part of the inhabitants of Conneloe and of Kerry, 
deserting the Earl of Desmond, submitted, in appearance at least, to the 
Queen.2 The Earl now repaired with his few remaining forces to Castle- 
maine ; the Knight of Glyn and Pierce Oge De Lacy'' alone siding with him. 




It was after the defeat of the Sugane Earl, that James, the young son of 
the Earl of Desmond, after being detained in captivity by Elizabeth for 
twenty-one years in London, as a hostage, in revenge of his father and father's 
brothers having rebelled against her, was released from bondage, after he 
had thrown himseK on her mercy ; and the English ministers and the Lord 
President concurred in the expediency of setting him up as a rival to the 
power and popularity of the former in Munster. An order was given to 
proclaim him as " an honorable Earl," by the authority of his sovereign (to 
whose presence he was admitted, and by whom he was saluted Earl of Des- 
mond), throughout the assembhes and great towns of Munster. He arrived 
in Ireland, accompanied by a great force, in the month of October following, 
was welcomed at Cork by the President and the Earl of Thomond. They 
afterwards appeared in MaUow, Cork, and Limerick. ^ On his arrival in 

' It would not have been easy to take the castle were it not that the Earl of Desmond's people 
had grievously dispersed from him. — Annals of the Four Masters. 

* Annals of the Four Masters. 

' The Earl was subsequently taken prisoner in a cave in the mountains of Slieve Gort, county 
Tipperary, sent to London, where he died in the tower in 1608. Previous to this, the earl was 
nearly surprised at Lisbarry, county Cork, where he was in company with Edmond Magrath, 
Catholic Bishop of that see, who so successfully disguised himself as a beggar, that he was 
thought not worth hanging by the loyalists of the queen. His brother John settled in Barcelona. 
After James's death he took the title, as did also John's son Gerald, who served in the armies of 
Germany and Spain, and died in 1632 ; in him ended the heirs male of the four eldest brothers of 
Thomas the eighth Earl of Desmond. Previously to the seventeenth century Shannid Castle was 
held by the Earls of Desmond ; the ancient war ctj, " Shannid- Aboo" is the motto of the Knights 
of Glen, a still-existing branch of the Geraldines. " Crom-Aboo" the ancient war cry, too, from 
Groom Castle, in the county of Limerick, also, has been adopted as the motto of the Leinster 
Geraldines — the Duke of Leinster. 

♦ Listowel was the only town that remained in possession of the Sugan Earl, and even that 
town was taken in November by Sir Charles V'olmant, the Governor of Kerry. He wrote the 
name Wilmot himself. — Hibenua Pacutu. 


Kilmallock^ he was received by the people with acclamations of unbounded 
joy and congratulation — the streets, doors, windows, even the roofs of the 
houses, were filled with exultmg crowds, all pressing to hail the noble heir 
of an illustrious race. A strong guard of soldiers could not obtain a passage 
for him, or extricate him from their tumultuous salutations ; but when they 
saw him go to the Protestant Church, they all forsook him, " yea, cursed him, 
and spit upon him.''^^ Such was their immediate detestation of the man 
who had not only fallen into the interests of the Queen, but who had so far 
forgotten the spirit of his ancestors as to abandon the faith for which they 
had suffered and bled. The young lord, who did not understand the Irish 
language, passed on to his devotions, but on his return he received in the 
fullest measure the strongest expression of their rage and disappointment. 
He was left abandoned — left unnoticed and unattended. By none more than 
by the English undertakers was his presence regarded with jealousy and 
alarm. They conceived that he would be restored, not only to the honours, 
but to the estates of the Desmonds — they trembled for their own safety. 

Eory Mac Sheehy, the chief Constable of these Geraldines, died this year.'^ 
The President now held a Sessions of Gaol DeKvery, rather than a Court- 
martial, which had prevailed so long. In Limerick the first Sessions was 
held ; in Cashel and Clonmel the next, where the Earl of Ormond proceeded 
to meet him ; but, owing to a domestic affliction, intended negociations with 
the President on the subject of suppressing certain distui'bances which 
annoyed him on the borders of Ormond, were def erred. » 

That the people were driven into the most fearful excesses against the 
Government, and that there were aggravating causes, is a fact admitted by 
historians who incline altogether to the EngHsh side. Leland* attributes 
them, in a great measure, to the grievous compositions laid upon the lands, 
from which they were not relieved at the stipulated tune ; the extortions and 
bribery of the sheriffs ; the easiness of English jurors in condemning ob- 
noxious persons on the slightest evidence, and the terrifying executions of 
innocent Irishmen ; the extraordinary devices used to impeach their titles to 
estates ; the rigorous execution of the penal laws against recusants, and the 
intrusion, as they deemed it, of the Enghsh settlers.^ 

About this time Sir Geoffry Galway, Bart, a lawyer of eminence. Mayor 
of Limerick, was tm-ned out of his office and made to pay a fine of £500, 
which was expended in the repair of the castle of Limerick, by the Presi- 

1 Cox. 

* O'Donovan, in a note in the Annals of the Four Masters, says that the first of the MacSheebys 
came to this country in 1420, as leader of the gallowglasses of the Earl of Desmond. He built 
the castle of Lisnacullen, a townland within five miles of Newcastle West, the ruins of which 
still remain in good preservation. 

3 Hib. Pac. 

* Leland's History of Ireland, vol. ii., p. 385, 

* Ibid, p. 410. Leland goes on to say that the horrid accounts of famine and distress in these 
parts of Ireland most exposed to the calamities of war, can scarcely be suspected to contain false- 
hood or exaggeration when the effects are considered of those civil commotions in the city of 
Dublin, which are authenticated by the signature of John Tierch, maj-or, by which it appears 

Wheat had risen from thirty shillings to nine pounds per quarter ; 

Barley malt from ten shillings to forty-three shillings per barrel ; 

Oat malt from five shillings to forty shillings per peck ; 

Oats from three shillings and four-pence to twenty shillings per barrel ; 

Beef from twenty-six shillings and eight-pence to eight pounds per carcass ; 

A lamb from twelve pence to six shillings ; 

A pork from eight shillings to thirty shillings. 


dent, whose repeated orders he had slighted to try or enlarge a soldier whom 
he had formerly imprisoned for petty larceny.' 

'\\Tiile the Earl of Thomond was occupied against the followers of the 
Sugane Earl, O^Donnell paid a second visit to the county Clare, Avhere, 
according to the Four Masters, his soldiers burned the whole of the country, 
on one Sunday, from the borders of Galway on the north-east, to the Atlantic 
ocean. After burning Ennis, and ravaging the territories of his enemy, 
O'Donnell dispatched the abundant spoils which he had taken to Tirconnell, 
and proceeded next to ravage the territory of another of his enemies, the 

' This affair is thus related in the " Pacata Hibernica." " There -was, at this time, one Geof- 
fry Gallway, raaior of Limrick, a man that had spent many years in England in studying of the 
common law, and returning to Ireland about three years since, did so pervert that citie by his 
malicious counsell and perjurious example, that he -withdrew the maior, aldermen, and generally 
the whole citie from coming to the church, which before, they sometimes frequented. More- 
over, about a year since, there happened an affray in Limrick between the soldiers and some of 
the town, at what time this GaUway came to the then maior, advising him to disarm all the 
soldiers, and then told them that all their lives were in the maior's hands and at his mercy, 
whereby a gapp was most apparently opened by him to have induced a wicked and barbarous 
massacre upon her Majestie's forces. With this man, therefore, did the President take occasion 
to enter into the lists, upon a manifest contempt offered to his office and government as follow- 
eth : it came t(f passe that a soldier of the Earl of Thomond's company was imprisoned by the 
said maior for a supposed petty larceny of a hatchet. The President being upon his journey 
against the rebells that were now reported to have invaded the province, required to have the 
said soldier delivered unto him, that he might receive a present tryall and punishment for his 
default, or else repayre to his colours and goe the journey." Here the mayor is charged with 
having dallied with the president by demanding a warrant for the release of the prisoner, which 
was afterwards rejected, as well as a second and third framed after his own directions, till the 
army began its march, when the maj-or declared that the authority given him by the charter, 
exempted him from the jurisdiction and command of the President and Council. " The Presi- 
dent much scorning to be thus deluded and dallyed withall, told the maior that hee would shortly 
find a time to call him to an account for his contempt, not against his person, but against her 
Majestie and her government established in this province. Who being now returned from the 
service, and abiding at Moyallo, directed his warrant to the said Gallway, commanding him, upon 
his alleageance, that he should immediately appear before him and the Councill at Moyallo, 
where, making his appearance, he was censured to live as a prisoner in a castle in the country 
and not to enter into the citie of Limrick, until hee had paid a fine to her Majestie of four hun- 
dred pound sterling, which was designed for the reparation of her Majestie's castle there, and 
lastly, that a new maior should be placed in his room. The townsmen presently sent an agent 
(as their manner is) to make sute to the Counsell of England, seeking to abuse their lordships 
with counterfeit humility and false suggestions, to get abatement either in whole or in part of 
this fine aforesaid ; but herein they failed of their expectation, aud having received a check for 
their proud contumacy against the President ; they were commanded from the Court." 

An old very high Dutch gabled house. No. 3, Kicholas-street, is pointed out to this day as " the 
Castle House," in which Sir Geoffry Galway is said to have resided. It is also said to have been 
the house in which Ireton, Cromwell's son-in-law, died. An ancient arched door-way forms an 
entrance into it from Gridiron Lane, which divides it from the Exchange; in front is a baker's 
shop. It is stated to have been the first brick-fronted house in Limerick. Sir Geoffry Galway 's 
ancestor, John De Burgo, younger brother of Ullick, ancestor of the Marquis of Clanrickarde, 
called John of Gallway, from having accredited the bills of the citizens of Galway, was knighted 
by Lionel Duke of Clarence, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, for his signal services in defending 
Ball's Bridge, Limerick, against the great force of the O'Briens in 1361, with permission to him 
and his heirs to carry the bridge emblazoned on his arms, with the date 1361, with the grant 
from Henry IV. of the Castles of Dundannion and Lota, county Cork, where he is still represented 
by William Galway, Esq. The Limerick family is buried in the South aisle of St. Mary's Ca- 
thedral, in which there are the mutilated remains of a fine black marble monument, bearing the 
Galway arras, with the expression, " Quadrant Insignia Galway" — no doubt referring to the above. 

Dr. Thomas Arthur makes this note : — " Sir Geoffry Galway the layer and baronett 20 Mali 
1633, did mortgage unto me all his howses, tenements, and gardines in Mongrett-street and in 
the south langable thereof, for one hundred pounds ster. And I demised the same unto him 
dureing the mortgage at ten pounds ster. per annum, he Geoffrey dureing his own life tyme payed 
me the said reserved rent yearly. He dyed 29 Martii, 1636, and since then one of his execu- 
tores, William Fitzwilliam Creagh, payed me what rents fell due vntell 23 Mali, 1638, inclusively. 
But since May, 1038, neither his heyre or executors payed me anie rents, whereby three veares 
and a half's rent before the warres. were falen due to me being £35 ster. — Arthur MSS. 


Earl of Clanrickarde. Some Ulstermen, tiie followers of O'DonneU, now settle d 
in Clare and founded families of various ranks.' The country, however, on 
each side of the Fergus, as far as Clonroad and Ballyalley, was shortly 
afterwards plundered by Teige O^Brien, son of Sir Turlogh of Ennystimon, 
and Redmond and William Bm'ke ; but these outrages committed on the 
loyahsts were severely punished, John, brother of the Burkes, being executed 
in revenge, and Teige O'Brien, being mortally wounded while carrying off his 

1601. In this year died MacIBrien of Ara, whose son Murtagh was 
bishop of Killaloe, and, according to Ware, died in 1613, having resigned 
his charge a year before his death. 

In order to frustrate the plans of the national party in Munster, who only 
awaited the arrival of the Spaniards to break out into open hostility, the 
President appointed an assize to be held at Cork, and, under pretence of 
trying civil and criminal causes, sent circulars to all the nobility and land- 
holders requesting their attendance, by which means he was enabled to arrest 
and cast into prison some of the MacCarthys and O'Mahonies whose allegiance 
he doubted. The Deputy crossed the Blackwater in the beginning of August, 
and proceeded towards Dungannon, but he was compelled by the badness of 
the roads, and the frequent skirmishes which he had with O'Neill, to direct 
his march towards Armagh. Danvers was driven back with loss to the 
English camp which the Irish attacked a few days after : but they fell into 
an ambush laid for them by the Deputy, on which occasion several Irish were 
slain, and amongst the rest Peter or Pierce Lacy, Lord of Bruff,^ " equally 
illustrious,^' as MacGeoghegan remarks of him, by his virtue as by his birth, 
and one of the most zealous defenders of catholicity.^ 

During a session held at Ennis on the feast of St. Bridget in this year, 
Eeb. 20th, 1601, sixteen persons suffered the penalty of death, after which 
the Earl of Thomond departed for England, taking with him his younger 
brother Donald, whom he presented to the Queen. They returned, however, 
to Ireland shortly after, having been dispatched by the Queen and Council 
with reinforcements to Mountjoy, who was at that time engaged in the siege 
of Kinsale. In the meantime the Spaniards had sent dispatches to the north 
to O'Neill and DonneU, intreating them to march to their assistance, the 
number of Spanish troops who had landed at Castlehaven not exceeding 700. 

O'Donnell soon made his appearance in Ormond with an army chiefly 
collected in Connaught and Leinster. A reinforcement of two thousand 
Spanish troops with cannon and supplies afterwards arrived, and O'NeiU 
occupied a position which enabled him to cut off all supphes from Cork, 

' M'Curtin and John Loyd's History of Clare. 

2 Lasey, or De Lacy, of Bruff : — Members of this celebrated family -were among the first 
generals of the Russian Empire in the wars against the Turlis in the years 1736, 1737, and 
1738. At this period Russia possessed as great generals as any other of the European powers, 
and first among those generals were the Limerick De Laseys (Memoirs Historique sur la Russie, 
2 vols. A Lyon., 1772). Among the generals who commanded under the Mareschal de Lasey, 
were, Comte Lacy, his son, and Browne of Camus, another illustrious Limerick man. The 
conduct of the Mareschal de Lasey throughout the great campaigns in the Crimea in the years 
above mentioned, is spoken of in the most glowing terms bj' the historian of the wars. He 
entered Poland, commenced the Siege of Dantzig, marched on the Rhine, made the Siege of 
Azoph, and conducted many other great operations by land and sea. His son also was an illus- 
trious general in these memorable campaigns. The military fame of the family was well 
sustained during the late Crimean War, &c., by Sir De Lacy Evans. 

3 The ruins of Pierce Lacy's Castle may yet be seen near the Bridge over the Morning Star 
Kiver at Bruff. 


while O'Donnell established a communication with the Spaniards at Castle- 
haven. Altogether^ however, the whole Irish army, according even to English 
authorities, amounted to only 600 foot and 500 horse with 300 Spaniards, 
under Captain Alphonso Ocampo, whilst the English force is generally 
supposed to have amounted to at least 10,000 men. 

0''Neill and O'Donnell differed in opinion as to the propriety of attacking 
the Enghsh cam.p on a certain night, proposed by the commander of the 
Spaniards, Don Juan Del Aguila, who wrote pressingly to the Irish leaders 
entreating them to come to his assistance at once; O'Donnell thought they 
were bound to accede to this request. An immediate attack was resolved 
on, and by the treacliery of Brian MacHugh. Oge MacMahon, Carew was 
apprized of the intended onslaught. On the night of the 23rd, the Irish set 
out in three divisions, Captains Tyrrell, O'Neill and O'Domiell respectively, 
commanding the van, the centre, and the rere. The guides missed their 
way, and after wandering through the night, O'Neill found himself separated 
from O'Donnell, at the very entrenchments of the English, who were fully 
prepared for the attack. O'Donnell was now at a considerable distance, and 
just as O'Neill was preparmg either to retreat or put his men in order of 
battle, the English cavalry charged their broken lines, and notwithstanding 
the stout resistance of the Irish and the gallantry of the Spaniards, O'Neill's 
command Avere either cut down or compelled to retreat. O'Donnell came at 
last and repulsed the English wing. O'Neill made extraordinary exertions 
to rally his flying troops, but all to no purpose, nearly a thousand of the 
Irish fell. The prisoners were immediately hung ; and three days after the 
battle of Kinsale, the heroic Eed Hugh O'Donnell had sailed in a Spanish 
ship from Castlehaven for Spain, where he was received with the greatest 
honors. O'Neill returned to Ulster. The Spaniards capitulated, marching out 
of Kinsale with colors flying, and with arms, ammunition, and all their pro- 
perty. On the return of Don Juan, who was suspected by the Irish of 
treachery, probably owing to the friendship which suddenly sprung up 
between Mm and Sir George Carew, he was placed under arrest and died of 
grief. The famous defence of Dunboy castle by Richard MacGeoghegan 
and Father CoUins, to Avhom O'SulKvan had committed that fortahce, is an 
event too well known to require particular description. The President having 
levelled its fortifications returned to Cork ; and after a series of marvellous 
adventures and romantic escapes, O'SulKvan, O'Connor Kerry, and William 
Burke reached the Shannon at T^'erryglass, and having caused their followers 
to make corraghs or basket boats they crossed the river, and eventually 
arrived safely in the county of Leitrim, though perpetually harassed by 
enemies.' Garret Stack still held the Castle of Ballygarry from the Con- 
federates, but Sir Charles Wilmot having advanced from Limerick by water 
to attack it, the garrison surrendered at discretion. 

In the year 1602, forty-two of the rehgious having begged of the Queen 
to be transported, were ordered to Scattery island, where, having embarked 
on board a man-of-war, when at sea, by the queen's orders, they were all 
thrown over board, and the perpetrators were rewarded by abbey lands. 2 

' The Queen's forces who attacked O'Sullivan's Castle of Danboy were commanded by the Earl 
of Thomond, and during the attack the last chief of the MacMahona of Corcovaskin (Teigh 
Calch) was accidentally shot by his own son, who proceeded after the fall of Dunboy with the 
other exiles to Spain, thus apparently terminating a line, which was supposed to be extinct 
until the publication of the pedigreps of MacMahon, the illustrious Duke of Magenta, proved 
that it is still well repref=ented. 

'^ Ililjerma Dominicnna. 



1603. Tlie "pacification*' of Munster thus appeared complete, and that of 
Ulster took place nearly at the same time. 

The Annals of the Four Masters* mention that before his departure for 
Spain, Hugh Roc O'Donnell advised O'Neill and the Irish who remained in 
Ireland after the defeat at Kinsale, to exert their bravery in defending their 
patrimony against the Enghsh, until he should return with forces to their 
relief, and to remain in the camp in which they then were, because their loss 
was small. He also pointed out the difficulties of a return to their own 
country, and the ill-treatment that awaited them in such an eventuahty — but 
the chiefs of the Irish, the annahsts add, did not like his advice, but resolved 
on returning to their territories. " They afterwards," the historians con- 
tinue, " set out in separate hosts, without ceding the leadership to any, and 
after suffering much from declared enemies and treacherous friends during 
their march, reached their homes without any remarkable loss.-'-' 

The Annals of the ]\Iasters for this year end with this entry, " an intoler- 
able famine prevailed all over Ireland.-** Moryson gives a frightful account 
of this famine, wliich the English caused in Ireland " by destrojdng the 
rebels* corn, and using all means to punish them j**^ and, no doubt, the 
Irish had been utterly destroyed by famine, had not a general peace shortly 
followed Tyrone*s submission. There was a survey made of the lands in the 
county of Limerick which were forfeited in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.^ 





The death of EHzabeth was very acceptable news in Ireland. In Limerick 
the intelligence gave great hopes to the Cathohcs, who beheved that they 
could henceforward freely enjoy the exercise of their religion."* Her successor, 
James, was the first English monarch who had Irish blood in his veins, and 
the impression was all but universal that King James would restore the 
ancient religion which, for reasons of state, that worthless monarch had 
afiected to favor. In some places indeed the Catholics had taken possession 
once more of their ancient churches ; and the mayors of Cork and Waterford 
even refused or postponed the proclamation of the new king, supposing that 
the deputy's power had died out with the Queen. The citizens of Waterford 
went so far as to close their gates against the soldiers of Mount] oy, who had 
rapidly marched to Munster with a strong force, but he quickly undeceived 
them as to the privileges conferred by their charter, which exempted them 
from quartering soldiers ; for the deputy threatened that " with King James* 
sword he would cut the charter of King John to pieces** — and Limerick, 

• Ad. an. 1602. 

« VoL II. pp. 283, 284. 

3 First Report of the Commissioners of Public Records, p. 122. Report 1810 to 1815. 

* Arthur MSS. 


Kilkeuny, Wexford, and Cashel, were obliged to submit iu theii* turn. The 
publication of a general amnesty had, however, for a time, a tranquil: sing 
effect. This was the last official act of Lord Mountjoy, who shortly after 
returned to England. He was accompanied by Tyrone and O^Donnell, who 
were well received by the King. On this occasion Hugh O^'Neill was con- 
ftrmed. in his honors and possessions, and Rory O'Donnell, brother to Red 
ITugh, who died in Spain, was created Earl of Tyrconnell. English law was 
now first introduced into the territories of these noblemen. Still the horrible 
persecution went on ; in 1604, Eecknond Galcorg, Bishop of Derry, and Vice- 
Primate, was killed by the English solctiefs — Aiialecta. 

At this time a terrible pestilence, ivhich was brought over from England, 
raged throughout Munster, and carried off three hundred of the citizens of 
Limerick. James Galway was mayor, for the second time ; and David, son 
of Nicholas Comyn, and Thomas, son of Patrick Creagh, were baiHffs.^ 

Sir Arthur Chichester, the succeeding Viceroy, re-established the long 
disused custom of ch-cuits in Mimster and Connaught ; and as an extension 
of Royal favor, Corporations were gTanted to several towns. The rising 
hoj)^ of the Qathohcs in the tolerant principles of their new King were 
soon rudely blighted by the issuing of a proclamation, promulgating the act 
of Uniformity, and commanding the " Papist^^ clergy to depart from the"" 
kingdom. He had abeady sent orders to Dublin that the Act of Supremacy 
should'be administered to all Catholic lawyers and justices of the peace, and 
that the laws against recusants should be strictly enforced ;■ ■, a commission 
Avas issued caUing on respectable Catholics to Wsatch and inform agnlnst such.. .. 
of their co-a'eligionists as did not frequent Protestant churehesy:ifand some "^ 
Catholics who had remonstrated and petitioned „M' religious lifety were 
committed to prison ; Sir Henry Blunkard wa^ PloBident of 3\Juilster, and 
Edmond Fox being mayor of Limerick, was deprived of Ms ofiice three Aveeks 
bi^re Michaelmas day, for refusing to take the oath of supremacy and not 
going to church. Andrew Creagh Eitzjasper was chosen mayor m the place 
of Eox, for the remainder of the year, and.this Creagh was the first Protestant 
mayor of the city. Eox was eleven months piiyor^ — Creagh pne month. 
Domanick EitzPeter Creagh and James Woulfe were the'- bailiffs. ^ Creagh 
was succeeded by Edmond Sexten, who had Christopher FitzEdward Arthur' 
and Peter EitzThomas Creagh, bailiffe^^ ms^'"'"- 

In the year 1605, the ci^tomg--C(f%i^try'?tl3|cKv'p^el]^ were abohshed c 
by judgment in the Kii^^ench and the Irish es1;ii,te thereby made descendi- 
ble according to the course of the common law of England.* In the year 
1606, in order to atone for the severity of the proclamation against the 
Catholic Clergy, and to '^ quiet and dbhge the Irish,^' as Cox ex|)resses it, 
the king issued out a commission of grace under the' "^'"eat seal of England, 
to confirm the possessors of estates in Ireland, against new claims of the 
crown, by granting new patents to them.^ This if faM'y carried out, was 
a very desirable and necessary measure, for a may" be easily imagined, a great 
confusion of titles to estates had been occasioned by the troubles, and various 
changes wliich had happened in the kingdom, and whoever could not make 
out a clear and indisputable title to his estate, which considering the circum- 
stances of the nation, for some time past was scaroely -}^)Ossible to do, lay com- 
pletely at the mercy of the crown, and had no remedy' except to compound 

' Arthur MSS. 2 Arthur MSS., White's MSS. » Arthur MSS. 

* Cox, Hib. Ang. Davis's Reports. '•• Ibid. 


witli the king on whatever terms he could^ and to get a new grant of his 
estate. Hence the enquiries into defective titles, which took place in the 
early part of the reign of King James.' These inquisitions were first pro- 
posed in the causes of MacBrian Gonagh, O^Mulryan and other septs in 
Limerick and Tipperary, who had expelled the old English colonies planted 
there, whose heirs not being known, the lands had escheated to the crown ; 
most counties in Ireland afforded abundance of similar cases. Even of those 
who had imagined they had settled their possessions by composition, having 
covenanted to take out letters patent, the greater number had neglected to 
do so, and holding their lands only by the indenture of the composition 
made with Sir Jolm Perrott, and not having performed the stipulations they 
stood in need of new grants to give them a lawful title to their estates. 
There was also a failure or alleged failure in an infinite number of other cases. 
This was an age of adventurers and projectors.^ Every body was at work in 
trying to find out flaws in people's estates ; the Pi])e rolls and the Patent rolls 
were searched for reserved rents and ancient grants, and no means left untried 
to force gentlemen to a new composition, or to the accepting of new grants at 
higher rents than before. It was not to be expected that the fair domains of 
O'Neill and O'Donnell, would escape the greed of these covetous projectors. 
The claims of O^Neill to the princely possessions of his ancestors were dis- 
puted under Enghsh laws, he was harassed by legal enquiries into title, until 
at last he was compelled to leave the country, partly by means of law fictions, 
and processes calling on him to appear and answer in the cause of the 
Protestant Bishop of Derry, against Hugh Earl of Tpone, partly by a con- 
spiracy, supposed to have been concerted against him by Cecil, but which 
was put into execution by Christopher St. Laurence, Baron of Howth, who 
entrapped the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, the Baron of Delvin and 
O'Cahane into a plot into which they may readily be beheved to have fallen 
by the representations made by Howth, of the probability of new penal 
enactments against CathoHcs. This is the opinion of Mr. Moore' and others, 
but it is extremely probable that the plot was contrived by Cecil, the artful 
author of the Gunpowder plot, and that the flight of the Earls was exactly 
what the government wanted, who immediately declared them rebels, and 
proceeded to confiscate their vast possessions in six counties of Ulster.'' 
O^Neill and O^Donnel with their families, sailed from Rathmullen on Lough 
Swdly, for Normandy, from which they proceeded to Eome, enjoying a pension 
from the Pope and the King. O^Donnell died the following year, O'Neill in 
1608 ; Maguu'e at Geneva in 1608. The flight of the Earls, which may be 
said to have terminated the independence of Ireland, took place in 1607. 

' Carte's Ormonde, II. 264. * Carte's Life of Ormonde, ubi supra. 

' History of Ireland, vol. iv., p. 453, &c., &c. 

* Hardiranns Iriuh Minstrelsy, vol. ii., p. 430; Anderson's Royal Genealogies, London, 1736. 






In the year 1609, according to some authorities, according to others' in 
1610, occurred the cruel execution of John Burke, Baron of Brittas, who 
was adjudged to a terrible death, and all his property confiscated for the use of 
the king, merely because a priest had been found celebrating mass in his 
house. His life and death were holy. Being offered, says Carve, the resti- 
tution of all his goods and a remission of the sentence passed on him, if he 
would only embrace the Protestant faith, he is said to have replied, " I pre- 
fer far to save my soul, to become possessor of the entire world.''^ His 
grand- daughter, Honora was married to the illustrious defender of Limerick, 
Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, and after his death at Landeu in Flanders, to 
the Duke of Berwick. ^ 

We extract from Ilothe''s Analecta, translated in the White MSS. a detailed 
account of this event, which is the best possible commentary on the pretended 
toleration of the hypocritical pedant, who now occupied the throne of Eng- 

• Carve, a Tipperary man and notary apostolic, refers this event to IGIO in his " Annals of 
Ireland," page 315. 

* See O'Daly's History of the Geraldines, and Hibernia Dominicana, p. 565, where his daughter, 
a sanctified Dominican nun, is said to have died in IGi'i. 

3 This illustrious champion of his faith was descended from such a noble family, and was pos- 
sessed of so plentiful a fortune, as that Sir George Thornton, one of the chief governors of Muns- 
ter, thought him to be a great match for his daughter, Grace Thornton, to whom the Lord 
Brittas was married, and had nine children by her. He formed a purpose of going to Spain, in 
order the more freely to enjoy the benefits of the Catholic religion, which at this time was greatly 
persecuted in Ireland ; but his design being discovered to his father-in-law. Sir George, he so 
effectually managed with his feilow-governor. Sir Charles Wilmot, as entirely to prevent the 
Lord Brittas's departure. Being thus destuted in his journey he more fully and publicly per- 
formed all acts of the Catholic religion, bj- going openly to mass, assisting at sermons, having 
mass said in his own house, whither all the neighbours resorted to hear it ; his domestic affairs 
he left entirely to his wife, and devoted himself entirely to religion, by harbouring and support- 
ing ecclesiastics and religious persons, especially those of the order of St. Dominick. This, his 
conduct, being represented in a new light to Charles Mountjoy, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 
in his passage to Limerick, he thereupon forfeited the Lord Brittas's estate, and it was with the 
greatest interest and difficulty it was afterwards restored to him. He no sooner got possession, 
but he prepared a large hall in his house of Brittas for performing divine service therein the 
following Sunday, which was the first Sunday of October, and whither all those of the sodality 
of the rosary came to perform their devotions. When the President was informed of this, he 
sent one Captain Miller with a detachment of horse to apprehend Lord Brittas, just as divine 
service was going to begin. The congregation was alarmed, and through fear dispersed up and 
down ; the Lord Brittas, with his chaplain and three or four servants, retired into a strong tower 
adjoining his house, into which they denied Miller or his troop admittance. The President made 
handle of this to have him proclaimed as rebel, which laid the Lord Brittas under the necessity 
of seeking shelter in foreign countries ; to effect this he went to a distant seaport, in hopes of 
meeting with a ship to transport him, but he was disappointed, which made him seek for shelter 
in the inland country ; but the edicts against him being published everywhere, he was discovered 
in Carrick, and apprehended by the magistrate of that town and confined in jail. 

When his wife, who was with child, visited him in his confinement, his entire entertainment 
•with her was inculcating on her the principles of the faith, the devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 
and that she may avoid all commerce with heretics ; he, by her, wrote letters to father Edmond 
Hallaghan, the director of the Sodality, entreating him to have care of her instruction, and 
though she was big with child, by her liusband's orders, she travelled from Carrick to Waterford, 
and from thence to Kilkenny, in quest of said director. The Lord Brittas, by the President's 
orders, was removed from Carrick to Limerick, where the President was to hold a court in a 
short time. On his trial the President assured him that he neither thirsted after his life, nor his 
estate, both which he should have, provided he conformed to the Protestant faith and religion ; 
but the Lord Brittas absolutely refused to comply, or fcrsnke the true religion he was educated 


On the 3rtl of March, 1609, King James I. granted a charter to Limer- 
ick.' The city was erected into a countj^, and the bailiffs were created 
sheriffs. This charter, and the proceedings subsequently taken, constitute 
matter of the highest importance in the History of Limerick. An inden- 

in. The two Lord Justices, whose office it was to try him, having remorse of conscience, evaded 
it, whereupon the President, with despotic authority, ordered Dominick Sarswell, the King's 
attorney, to try him, which he did, contrary to the dictates of his conscience. He asked the 
Lord Brittas if he would conform, as it was tlie King's pleasure, but was answered by him that 
he knew no king or queen who renounced the law and faith of the King of kings ; thereupon 
Sarswill declared him guilty of high treason, and pronounced sentence of death against him, that 
he should be hanged, beheaded, and quartered, which sentence the said Brittas received with a 
joyful and cheerful countenance. When he was brought to the place of execution outside of the 
city, he behaved with the greatest devotion and composure, as if going to feast. When he was 
hanged, Sir Thomas Brown, and many other gentlemen, interceded with the President, that he 
should not be quartered, and their request was granted ; his friends conveyed his body into town, 
and he was buried in St. John's church, Limerick, the 20th of December, in the year 1607. 
So far Eothe, who gives the date two years earlier than Carve. 

His daughter, Eleanor Bourke, became a Dominican Nun, and died in 1646 in the Irish 
Dominican Nunnery of Lisbon, in the odour of sanctity. 

On the 28th of July, 1618, Theobald De Burg, a relative of the above John Bourke, who 
married a daughter of the Earl of Inchiquin, was created Baron of Brittas by James I. ; but he 
and Lord Castle Connell being in the Rebellion of 1641, were attainted and fled to France. On 
the accession of James II. they were restored to their estates, which they had forfeited. In the 
rebellion of 1688, they were again attainted, and lost their properties. 

Brittas Castle was on the river Mulchair, in the Parish of Caherconlish. 

' This Charter recites the great sufferings of the city of Limerick in the rebellion of the 
Geraldines, their assistance to the King, in the war in Ulster, and in anticipation of the future 
services of the inhabitants toward the crown, proceeds to declare the city of Limerick a free city 
of itself. It grants to the mayor, bailiffs, and citizens, and inhabitants of the city, to be a 
body politic and corporate, by the name of the mayor, sheriffs and citizens of the citj' of 
Limerick, with the usual power to hold lands, to demise or assign them, to plead and be im- 
pleaded by their new corporate name. It confirms all their former possessions in the most large 
and ample manner, by whatever corporate name enjoyed, or by whatever legal title, grant, or 
proscription acquired. The Charter then proceeds to make the city of Limerick a county of 
itself, as already referred to under the head of " Limits," excepting thereout the King's Castle 
and the precincts thereof, one lower room under the Tholsel used as a common gaol for the county, 
and also the site of the Abbey of St. Francis and its precincts, being a fit place for holding the 
Assizes and Sessions for said County of Limerick, and confers full power for perambulating these 
boundaries. This Charter enables the mayor, sheriffs, and citizens to choose " one of the more 
honest or discreet citizens," to the office of mayor, to be chosen as theretofore ; directs that 
instead of two bailiffs two sheriffs shall be chosen, and points out the mode of their election, 
and how vacancies in the office, by death or amotion, are to be filled up. It directs that all 
persons thereto free citizens shall continue so to be, and that in all things they shall be ordered 
and governed as formerly. It enables them to choose as many aldermen, Serjeants at mace, and 
other officers as usual. It confers an exclusive Admiralty jurisdiction, both criminal and civil, 
over so much of the river Shannon as extends three miles north east of the city to the mouth of 
the main sea, with all creeks, banivs, and rivulets within their limits ; gives power to hold a 
Court of Admiralty or liecord every Monday, before the Mayor, Kecorder, and Aldermen, any 
three or more of them (of whom the Mayor and Recorder are to be two), who were to keep the 
peace at the Shanbon within these limits ; to receive recognizances, to take fines and amercements, 
waifs, royal fish and other royal prerogatives, with a non-intromittent clause as to the Admirals 
of England and Ireland. A Society of merchants of the staple was incorporated by this Charter, 
by the name of " the Mayor, Constables, and Society of Merchants of the Staple of the City of 
Limerick ;" with the privileges and franchises of the IMerchants of the Staple of Dublin and 
Waterford. This Charter further constituted the INIaj-or, Kecorder, and four of the Aldermen (a 
class first noticed in this Charter), Justices of the Peace for the countj- of the city ; the four 
Aldermen to be annually elected as therein mentioned and thereafter noticed ; and empowered any 
three or more of them, of whom the Mayor and Recorder were to be two, to hear and determine 
■within the city, at all times to be appointed by them, all felonies and other crimes, except treason, 
misprision of treason and murder, and do all things in relation thereto as belonged to the office 
of Justice of the Peace. This Charter also granted to the Corporation all fines, escheats, and 
amercements, in as ample a manner as the Corporations of Dublin, Waterford, and Cork enjoyed 
the same, except such royal fines as should be imjiosed on llie sheriff or coroners of the said 
county of the city of Limerick ; the fines as granted, (except as aforesaid) to be collected by 
their own officer, to be applied to the repair of the walls, bridges, and other necessary uses of the 
city ; and lastly, it enabled them to hold lauds, &c. to the value of ilO per annum, notwith- 
standing the statute of mortmain. 


ture of perambulation' was made on the 31st August, 1609, between Donat, 
Earl of Thomond, Bernard, Lord Bishop of Limerick, Sir Francis Barkley, 
Ejiight, and Sir Thomas Browne, Kaiight, on the one part ; and the mayor, 

J The indenture recites letters patent dated 3rd of March, 6th James I. and states that the 
Commissioners have perambulated, measured, limited, meared, and bounded unto the said 
mayor, sheriffs, and citizens, three miles of land, and they declare the said county of the city 
of Limerick to extend and reach to the bounds of all parts, according to the admeasurements, as 
they are hereinafter declared, and that the under written towns, castles, lands, and hamlets, and 
other places named for mears, limits, and bounds, are the extreme bounds, limits and true mears 
of the said city — three miles from the exterior of the said city, east, west, and south.* 

The first bound, mear, or limit, from St. John's Gate, is and doth extend to the new small 
hillock, round, or moat, made by the causea on the west of Killcowline, betwixt Koshard on the 
east, and Gortdromagh, west, Gortnehowyle, north-west, all which is the mear of Kilcowline 
and Walshestown. 

The second mear, or bound, is another round which draweth from the first, eastward, standing 
upon the hill south-east of Carrigparson ; the town and lands of Carrigparson lieth within the 
same, toward the city. 

The third mear, or bound, is at the Shannon, directly from the castle of Downashe upward, 
drawing along the small current or water of Aghanenegorte, and so as the said brook or water 
runneth east to the moore called Maen Cnockenrewe, so directly to Ballibarrie, leaving the town 
and castle out, but not the land of Ballybarrie, within the said compass, and the bound to go 
through the next ford by West Skarte Iree, the towns of Coole Ilenan, Carromartine, Cloneclive, 
the Gransagh, Garren Ikie, Garrinoe, Cnockenrewe, Clonetwnyh, Aghbegge, Carotanevoye and 
Careonebellye, and so from Ballybarrie, making directly to the former round or moate, standing 
on the hill by East Carrigparson aforesaid, within which bound these towns are contained, viz., 
the two Killonans, Conyheigh, Newcastle, Callagh Itroye, Curraghkip, Ballyreine, Lyshlian, 
Kilbane, Bealaghennolyne, Bealasymon, Cowell, Sheynan, Kilpatricke, Garriglasse, the Renaghe, 
Dromrave, Atdmore, Cnockananto, Touryne, Carrigparson, Carnarrie ; Walshe his ToAvne, Bali- 
browne, Balliogarhie, the Parke Drowmbanyhs ; the mear, limit, and bounds, taken from Mon- 
gerett-gate, in Limerick, goeth directly to Ballinecurugh, and so directly to the two Mongeratts, 
Clough Kettine, and so to Brienduffe O'Brien his mill, called the Mill of Claren Icokye, from 
the said mill to the ford of Cloghtokie, from the ford of Cloghtokie to the ford of Anagh Irestie, 
as the brook or water between both fords runneth, including the Town and Lands of Cloghtokie 
aforesaid, wholly to be of and in the county of the cit}' of Limerick, from the ford of Anagh 
Irestie to the ford of Leyme Ineigh, as the water or brook between both fords runneth from the 
ford of Leyme Ineigh to the church and trees of CnocknegaweU, from the church of Cnocknega- 
well along to the stone in the middle of the moore, holding direct course by the hedge of Cnock- 
balline\'rahir, and to the height of the same, and by the dyke or hedge directing up the hill 
along to the moate on the top of the said Hill of Ballinebraher, from the said moate on the top 
of Cnockballynebraher to the town of Ballinebraher, and through the land that goeth through 
the middle of the said town, and so along through the lane, southward, by Caher Ivaghellie, in- 
cluding all the lands thereof, to be of and in the county of the said city of Limerick, and so along 
the highway called Boherbane, close by the land of Lykydowne, leaving the ploughland of 
Boherhod and Ballj'neffrancke without the said mears and bounds, from the lands of Luckdowa 
to the eastward of Carrigmartin, from Carrigmartin downward the lowe waie, westward to the 
Hedge of Walshestowne, belonging to the Lord Bourcke, where there is a moat erected, and 
from thence to the first moat above declared, erected at the causea of Kilcowline, which is the 
first mear or bound assigned in length from the said city of Limerick, the mear taken from the 
mills of Brienduffe's, called the mill of Claun Icekie, drawing to the north-west as the water- 
course thereof runneth through the Bog of Campire, and then leading to the bog directly, to the 

* This admeasurement of 1609, which created the county of the city, " three miles every way, 
in and through the County of Limerick, from the exterior part of the city walls," does not 
include the North Liberties ; and the boundary east, west, and south, exceeds the limit of 
three miles as prescribed by the Charter. The North Liberties are on the County of Clare side 
of the river. Their limits are at equal distances from the city, varying from one to three 
statute miles. They are referred to, and in part defined in the Inquisition taken A.D. 1615, and 
Epitonus, pp. 138-9, 40. The South Liberties extend on the County of Limerick side of the 
Shannon in every direction, from four to five statute miles. Whether that part of the river 
Shannon, between the confines of the Liberties and the sea, is part of the county of the city, has 
been questiona'ole, but it is generally considered to be so. Offences committed on the river be- 
tween the confines of the Liberties and the sea, are triable, and have been tried in the city in one 
memorable capital instance, in particular, hereafter referred to. In 1854, the late Alderman 
Henry Watson, Mayor, accompanied by the Corporation, sailed to Scatter^' Island, where he 
exercised Admiralty rights. On this occasion, a Eevenue Cruiser, then in the Shannon, 
saluted the Corporation Steam-boat, which was also saluted as it passed Cratloe, the residence 
of the late Augustus Stafford, Esq. M.P. 


sheriifs and citizens of Limerick on the other part. Tliis important instru- 
ment sets out the ancient liberties and franchises of the city, and orders the 
the limits to be bounded by great stones or other notable signs. The 
charter was followed by a grant of mills and water courses, and lands in the 
county, to Sir James Fullerton.' Patrick FitzDaniel Arthur, was the first 
mayor under the new charter ; and William FitzMartin Creagh, and George 
White were the last of the bailiffs, and the first of the city of Limerick 
sheriffs. The indenture excepted and reserved his majesty's castle of Limer- 
ick, commonly called the King's castle, with the precinct thereof, one lower 
middle room under the common gaol of the said city, and all that the site 
of the late abbey or monastery of St. Francis, and all the pendances of the 
same, as a place convenient for holding sessions and assizes for the county 
of Limerick. 

The rigors of the law M-ere now enforced with terrible vengeance — the 
alternative of apostacy or civil degradation was again offered to the citizens 
of Limerick, their magistrates, &c. as it was in other parts of the kingdom. 

The merciless rigors of a bloody code were inflexibly executed ; in the 
year 1611, Cornehus Douan, Bishop of Down and Connor, together with 
Patrick Locheran, priest, were for the faith hanged and quartered, the 
1st of February. — Sir Arthur Chichester being Lord Deputy. — Analecta. 

In this year David Comyn Avas chosen mayor, but Edmund Sexten was in 
the same year, chosen also ; David FitzAYalter Eyce held the office of sheriff 
for six months. Christopher Creagh and Patrick Lyseiaght,^ the one for 
the entire time — the other for the five remaining months of the civil year. 
The cause of this was that Donat O'Brien, Lord of Thomond was made 
President of all Munster. Com}Ti who M^as true to his faith, was deposed 
from his office of Mayor, because he refused peremptorily to go to church, 
and take the oath of supremacy, he was seconded by Daniel Rice, one of 
the sheriffs, who also refused. Edmund Sexten was chosen mayor, and 
Patrick Lyseiaght and Christopher Creagh, who conformed, were made 
sheriffs.' Catholics, nevertheless, in defiance of the government were chosen 
mayors by the corporation ; but they were presented with the oath, which 
the moment they refused to take, they were deprived of office. The same 
thing occurred in the next year, 1612, when W^illiam Meagh or Mead was 
chosen mayor, and Patrick FitzHenry White and John Skeolan were sheriifs. 
They held office for four months. Christopher Creagh was then appointed 
mayor, he held office for eight months — and took the oath, but did not go 

great stone standing in the Hedge called Legancampyne, and from the said stone to Craggen- 
ecorbally, mearing with the Lord Bishop's and Brienduife's land, and so along the highway till 
it conies to the heap of stones called Lishdermode Ikallie, and so to Shananc, in the highway, 
betwixt Tirevowoughtragh on the west, and Tirevowoughtragh on the east. The great castle of 
Crattlaghmoell on the north of the Shannon standeth right over against this way, mearing Tire- 
vowoughtragh west, and Tirevowoughtragh on the east. We, the said Earl of Thomond, and 
others of the Commissioners before named, having measured from the exterior part of the wall of 
the said city of Limerick to the boimds, mears, and limits before expressed, do leave and include 
as well all the towns, castles, and hamlets before-named, with all and singular their members and 
appurtenances, as all other towns, lands, fields, roads, meadows, pastures, commons, and appur- 
tenances to the same belonging, between the bounds aforesaid and the Avails of the said city, to 
be of and in the county of the city of Limerick, and within the comp.ass of the three miles 
jrranted by his Majesty by his llighness's charter to the ninyor, sheriffs, and citizens of Limerick. 
In witness whereof we, the said E;irl and others of the said commi.ssioners, to this part of tiiis 
Indenture to be rctornoil and remain in his MajestyV High Court of Chancery in Ireland, among 
the records of the same, l»ave set our hands and se.ils the day and year above written — Thomond, 
Bernard Limic, Ffra Barkeley, Thomas Browne. 

' Report of Commi.ssioners of Public Records. 

* Thus the name is spelled in contemporary MSS. ' Arthur MSS. 


to church. George FitzJames Creagh and John Lyseiaght were sheriffs for 
eight months, Meagh, White and Skeolan were deprived,, because they 
were of the Cathohc religion ; the others were allowed to fill their places 
becaused they conformed.^ Still a struggle was made^ and again the Catho- 
lics were defeated by the law, which sought to enforce the taking of the 
oath on the Catholic believers. Dominick FitzPeter Creagh, John Fitz 
William Arthur, and George Woulf were appoiuted, the first named, mayor, 
the others sheriffs ; they held office for three months ; but all were deposed 
on the 19th of December, for refusing the oath of supremacy ; and in their 
places were chosen William Haly, mayor, David Bourke and Thomas Power, 
sheriffs. Thus defeated so often in their attempts to have a Catholic 
mayor occupy his proper place at the head of civic affairs, persecution con- 
tinued also to rage, and the part taken by the Protestant party forced the 
Catholic mayors out of office iii the next year, when Michael Walters was 
mayor of Limerick, Nicholas FitzNicholas Stritch, and William Roche of 
Cahirivahalla, were sheriffs. They held office for five months, when James 
FitzJames White was chosen mayor, William Eoche, the above mentioned, 
Peter FitzPeter Creagh. were sheriffs for thirty-three days. James Galway 
was the third mayor, David Bourke and Thomas Power were sheriffs for 
two months, Arthur Fanning and Christopher FitzDominick Arthur, were 
sheriffs for four months. All these, ^^dthout exception, were of the Catholic 
faith; and all were likewise distm'bed and removed from office, because they 
refused to go to church, and fulfil the duties which an odious and obnoxious 
law sought to force on them.^ We may well imagine the state of the city, 
under these circumstances ; we may well imagine also, the state of the law, 
which in a Cathohc city sought to deprive the Catholics of the power of 
choosing mayors of tlieu' own form of behef. For the fourth time the same 
thing occurred in the year succeeding, and with a sunilar result. William 
Stritch was for the second time chosen mayor of Limerick; James Fitz 
Henry Whyte and Walter FitzRichard Arthur were sheriffs ; they held 
office for 14 days. Symon Fanning was chosen mayor in place of William 
Stritch, and George Sexten and George Rochfort, sheriffs. David Comyn 
was chosen mayor the second time, Nicholas FitzHeury Whyte, sheriff; 
James Galway was for the fourth time chosen mayor, James FitzJohn 
Stritch sheriff, Christopher Creagh, mayor, Patrick Lyseaight, Sheriff. The 
two last mentioned conformed. 

The battle of the Mayors appears to have ceased in this year, when 
Dominick Roche was the second time Mayor, and John Fitzjohn Stritch, for 
for the second time sheriff, and Richard Lawless, sheriff also. These all 
conformed. But the CathoKcs were not to be beaten down. It was owang 
in fact to this resolute spirit on the part of the Catholics, that Sir George 
Carew on an occasion already mentioned, had proceeded so severely against 
the Mayor, Sir Geoffry Galway, Bart. The instructions given to Sir Ohver 
St. John, afterwards created Viscount Grandisou, who in this year succeeded 
Sir Arthur Chester, subsequently created baron of BeKast, was to enforce 
with rigor the fine inflicted on Catholics for absenting themselves from the 
Protestant service. 

» Arthur MSS. and While MSS. 
2 Arthur MSS. 




Whilst the wars of the Mayors were raging within the walls of the city, 
several grants were made, viz.^ of the cocquet of Limerick, &c. to WUham 
Bruncor.2 An appointment of officer of Customs, and a grant of the king's 
mills ^ were made; a view of the revenues of the '^ wears,^^ &c. was also 
taken,^ and on the 18th of March, 1615, a most important inquisition was 
taken before Sir Francis Aungier, Knight, and the celebrated Sir John Davys, 
the kiug^s Attorney General, with the following " good and lawful men of 
the said comity of Limerick,^-" viz, Henry Barkley of Ballycahan, gentleman ; 
James Rawley of Balhngowley, gentleman ; Connor O'Heyne of Caherelly, 
gentleman ; Donell M'Mahawne of Cragan, gentleman ; John Oge Gerrald 
of Ballinard, gentleman; Richard Wall of Cloughtreade, gentleman; 
Richard Purcell of Ballincarrigy, gentleman ; John FitzEdmonde of GiUet- 
erstown, gentleman; Dermode M'Tighe of Twogh, gentleman; Walter 
Brown of Camus, gentleman; Thomas FitzJohn of Ballynemoug, gentle- 
man ; Teigh O'Brien of Gortboy, gentleman.^ 

' Kepertory of Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery. 

2 Ibid, 1612. Ibid, 1613-14-15. 

3 Crown Rent Roll, 1613. 

* It appears hom this inquisition that " the Mayor and Bailiffs of the city aforesaid, tenants 
of the Weares of the city of Limericke aforesaid, called the Fisher's tent, lying from the Lex 
Weare, on the east, as far as the river called Castle Donnell, on the west part, by the yeare, 
8s. lOfd. 

s This inquisition shows the grants of King John to the bishops of Limerick ; the grants of 
Queen Elizabeth of St. Mary's Priory and its lands at 4d. per acre, to Edmond Sexten, and also 
the lands of Monksland, Clasknagilly, Branlouge and Inshymore, to the said Edward Sexten ; 
the grants by letters patent of King Henry III. to the Leper House, near the city of Limerick, 
of forty ploughlands, one ploughland of which the said master of the said Leper Hospital* held 
when the inquisition was taken — that Gerald, Earl of Desmond held one ploughland in fee of the 
land called Corbally, parcel of the said forty ploughlands, that he was attainted of high treason, 
whereby the ploughland became seized by the Queen Elizabeth who granted the same by letters 
patent to Robert Annislie, one of the undertakers in the Co. of Limerick, for the yearly rent of 
forty shillings — that Corbally now (1615) is in the possession of Thomas Gould by conveyance 
and assignment of Annislie, and that no rent is paid out of it to the Ma3-or and commonality of 
Limerick. The inquisition found that Bealus, alias Courtbrack, was another of the fortj' plough- 
lands — that the Earl of Desmond held it in fee, that on his attainder it ivas granted by Queen 
Elizabeth to Robert Annislie at a rent of three pounds per annum ; and that it is now (1615) 
in possession of the Earl of Thomond, and paid no rent to the mayor &c. The inquisition further 
found that half a ploughland called Farranygallogh, parcel of the said forty ploughlands, was in 
the tenure and occupation of the nunnery of Killone, in the County of Clare, which together 
with the nunnery and its possessions came unto the cro^^Ti, and was by letters patent granted to 
the said Baron of Insequine, and is now (1615) in the possession of the Earl of Thomond for 
which no rent is paid to the mayor &c. The inquisition also found that two parts of two plough- 
lands in three parts divided in Ratwyrd, being parcel of the said forty ploughlands, came into 
Queen Elizabeth's hands by the attainder of John Browne, and were by the Queen granted to 
the said Robert Annislie, out of which £G rent is paid to the King, and that three other parcela 
of land — viz. Gorteardboher, containing ten acres, Gortrebowley, live acres, Rathgreylan, lifteea 
acres, with three parcels of land, are accounted for one ploughland, parcel of the said forty 
ploughlands, and are now in tenure and possession of Phillis White, Simon ffanning, and Edmond 
Burke of Ballasimon, for which they pay no rent to the mayor &c. The inquisition further finds 
that certain other such parcels of Gowens lying south near St. John's Gate, and the land of Martui 
Croft, and Clownegonderiske, containing a ploughland, being part of the forty ploughlands, are 
now in the tenure of the mayor and commonality of the city, and that the mayor and common- 
ality are seized of the following parcels of land being part of the said forty ploughlands : viz. 
Park, containing ^ths of a ploughland in possession of Thomas Comyn, held by him from the 

* The Master of the Leper House of Limerick resided in Mongrct street, in 1414. 

Arthur MSS. 


From tlie startling facts set fortli in tins higlily important and interesting 
document, wliicli constituted tlie only means by wMcli the property of the 

mayor &c. for 15s. Irish ; Eebouge. fths of a ploughland, in possession of Nicholas Arthure, held 
from ditto, at ditto rent ; Ballysoddo, |ths of a part and held of John Fox from same at same 
rent ; Dubgish, Ballymoldown, and Eathmichael, one ploughland, held by Nicholas Arthure from 
same at twenty shillings rent ; Rathbane Jths of a ploughland in possession of White and 
ifanning, heirs of Pierce Creagh, for which they pay only twelve shillings and four pence, Irish ; 
Rathuj'n, held by Nicholas Stritch of Limerick, merchant, containing the 3rd part of two 
ploughlands, for which he pays rent, Irish ; Crewilally, alias Ballincloughe, ^th of a plough- 
land held by Christopher Artliure for the rent of 5s. ; Cheapman's land, alias Ardnevedoge, half 
a ploughland, held by Simon ffanning ; the mayor, &c. were said to be seized of the following 
ploughlands, also being part of the 40 : viz. Castlebank, 1 ploughland, held by Nicholas Arthure for 
20s. Kilrush ^ a ploughland held by Nicholas Comyn or David Comyn, alderman, at lOs. yearly 
rent — Farrengowen, otherwise Smith's land, 1 ploughland, held by David White,* alderman, at 

* The Whites, the Creaghs, and the Stritches have played a remarkable part in the History of 
Limerick, Clonmel, and Waterford. Sir David White of Eussellstown was married to Sarah 
Bourk, daughter of John Bourk, who was called Lord of Coshure ; by his wife Catherine Fitz- 
gerald, daughter to John Fitzgerald Earl of Desmond : they had issue — 1st, Solomon White, son 
and heir to the said David and Sarah — was married to Margaret Walsh, daughter to David 
Walsh of Ballintober — had issue as follows ; — 1st, David White, son and heir to the said Solomon, 
was married to Margaret Brien, daughter to Anion Brien of Comraeragh, and had seven children 

— 2nd, Pierce White, counted a very strong man, but never married, — 3rd, Thomas White, 4th, 

Robert White, — 5th, John White, died in France, — 6th, Patrick White, — Tth, James White, and 
lastly Stephen White, v/ho was Colonel to King Charles I. and II. and never married. James 
White, above mentioned, was married to Elizabeth Butler, daughter to John Butler of Clare 
grandson to the Lord Dunboyne, by his wife Julian Quirk, daughter to O'Quirk of Muskerry ; 
the said James White had several children, but all died and dispersed by reason of Cromwell's 
war, except Stephen White who was taken up by his uncle Pierce White, and having no child, 
was made by the said Stephen sole heir of his estate and all he was possessed of. The said Stephen 
was married to Catherine Stritch,* daughter to Thomas Stritch who was put to death by Crom- 
well in Limerick along with several prime gentlemen ; by his wife Christian Creagh. daughter 
to James Creagh of Carrighfaddagh, he had several children, whereof none live but Mary, who 
is married to James Stritch, son to William Stritch, and Julian Bourk, daughter to Thomas Bourk 
of Ballinloughane and Westown ; said James and Mary have eight children, whereof Thomas is 
the eldest. The family of Catherine Stritch are these: first, Patrick Stritch of Limerick, son 
to William, was married to Catherine Bourk, daughter to Walter Bourk, by whom he had two 
sons named Thomas and Patrick, which Thomas was married to Christian Creagh aforesaid, and 

had several children, whereof only four lived — Patrick Stritch, married, had no issue, died 

2nd, James was a clergyman (Catholic) and Vicar-General of the diocese of Limerick 3rd, 

Francis Stritch, who died unmarried, and was crazy — 4th. Catherine Stritch, who was married 
to Stephen White before mentioned. The said Doctor James Stritch made Mary his niece sole 

heiress of his substance and estate. The family of Christian Creagh are, viz Andrew Creagh 

of Limerick, commonly called Andrew Maighgagh, was married to Ellen Fitzgerald, daughter of 
Fitzgerald of Gurtnatuber, — had issue by her as follows : — first, James Creagh of Carrighfadda 
was married to Catherine, daughter to liobert White, Mayor of Limerick, by his wife Eleanor 
Arthur, sister to Sir Nicholas Arthur of Limerick ; he had fifteen brothers, one whereof was 
Pierce Creagh the youngest, who was married to Mary Brien, daughter to O'Brien Arra, and 
first married Bridget Rice ; he had issue Pierce Creagh, Bishop of Cork, and Alderman John 
Creagh of Limerick, who was the eldest. Andrew Creagh the youngest was married to Catherine 
Fitzgerald, daughter to Edward Fitzgerald of Pallice. James Creagh's niece, was married to Pierce 

* John Stritch, a gentleman of fair character and inheritance, was forced to depart the town of 
Genes in Italy by reason of the great spoyle and pillage done to the said town by the Saracens 
and Infidels, A.D. 933 ; and Henry I. being the Emperor of Rome, the said John, with his wife 
and four sons, came from Paris in France and there died. In process of time his children and 
offspring came to Rouen in Normandy, from thence into England, and part of them came to 
Ireland ; and by reason of the removing of them into sundry places and shires, some of them 
are called Stretch, Stritchee, Stretch}-, Stridch, Strich, Strit, Strett, Strethem, and such now 
inhabiting in England, Ireland, and in other countries in Europe as the aforesaid names, and such 
now inhabiting in Florence and Italy, and other places of the same country. Collected by Richard 
Stritch, gentleman, of Limerick in Ireland. 

This account of the Stritches was taken from an old piece of vellum which was three hundred 
years stamped and in the possession of Michael Stritch. The Italian name is Strochio. 

In the Arthur MSS. the name is usually written Strech, and sometimes Stretdi, There are 
very few of this old name now in Limerick. 

The Creaghs continue numerous and respectable in Clare and Limerick. 

140 HiSTorvT or limerick. 

Corporation could be identified, it would appear that jobbing among corpo- 
rators, was not in these times unusual, and that the lands, which should 

20s. yearly. Closinmackine, J a ploughland, held by D. White, at 10s. j'earh'. Ardnegallagh, 
otherwise Knockardegallagh, Caherdavy, Shanevolley, and Farrenconmary, 1 ploughland, held by 
James White, Thomas Comyn and Rory Omighan, at 20s. Irish yearly ; Ballygadynan, 1 plough- 
land, anciently held from the Mayor and by John Blunt, now held by John Arlhure at 20s. 
yearly rent ; Clonecannan, otherwiseCahernefinnellie,! plowland held by David Comyn and Edmond 
Comyn, at 20s. yearly rent ; Cownagh and Clonedrinagh 1 plowland, held by David Comyn, 
Eichard White and Tiege M'Shane at 203. j'early rent ; Ballymaughtenmore, Moylish, and 
Ballyinaughtenbeg, 1 plowland, held bj' Wm. Stritch, alderman, John Arthure and William 
White, merchants, at 20s. a year rent ; Trior's land lying north of Thomond Bridge, containing 
15 acres, and Farrengkelly seven acres, both ^ a ploughland and parcel of the 40 ploughlands, 
which Prior's land is parcel of the former six ploughlands, of St. Mary's House, granted by the 
king's majesty to E. Sexten, and was held by the said E. Sexten, yielding no rent to the mayor ; 
Farrengkelly, the glebe land of the vicarage of or rectory of Kilaly, now in possession of Vicar of 
Kilaly, paying no rent to the mayor, &c. The yearly rent of the burgage within the said city 
is and always was only 20 marks — the king's mills, under one roof, in the west part of the city 
walls, betwixt the said Weir and the rock called Corrogower on the Shannon near the King'a 
castle were sometime held by the mayor, and the said mill is the mill for which £20 Irish parcel 
of the sura of Ixxviii six shillings and eight pence Irish, was accounted for in the Exchequer 
— that the said mills came into the hands of Queen Elizabeth who leased same to Richard Stretch, 
which mill is now held by William Stretch, alderman, by virtue of said lease ;* they find also 
that the following 8 ploughlands, parcel of the said 40 ploughlands, which eight ploughlands 
Richard de Clare did hold of the Kings of England as feoffee of the said mayor and commonality 
or otherwise, viz. Knocknishin containing 1 ploughland, held by the Earl of Thomond ; 1 plough- 
land in Ballycannan ; 1 ploughland in Cappagtiemore, which 2 ploughlands are also held by the 
Earl of Thomond ; Glanegrosse, 1 ploughland, held by Donogh Teighe O'Brien of Glanegrosse 
aforesaid ; 1 ploughland in Frybagh, held by Thomas MacNamara, Owen M'Mahone and others ; 
^ a ploughland in Craltelaghmoell held by Donell M'Namara ffoyne ; ^ a plowland inCrallelaghneill 
held by Cowra MacLydda and James Rochfort, ^ a plowland in Castledonnell, alias Gallelagh- 
more ; J a ploughland in Quireenboy, which 2 last mentioned are held by the heir of Edward 
White, and that the aforesaid 8 ploughlands, parcel of the said 40 ploughlands, and held by 
the said Richard de Clare, do lie so near unto the said city, and answer no rent to the said 
mayor and commonality, are by tradition and hearsay, from ancient men affirmed to be within 
the old and ancient liberties and bounds first limited to the said city in the N.W. side of the 
said city. The inquisition bears the signatures of Fr. Aungier, and Jo. Davys. 

Moronj' of Limerick, her name was Margaret Creagh ; she ^vas Creagh by father and mother- 
The said James Creagh had another daughter by Catherine who went to France, and was married 
to Richard Creagh of Rochelle ; he had issue as follows : — 1st, James Creagh, who was captain 
in Sheldon's Regiment and was killed at Aughrim, — 2nd, Sir Richard Creagh of Rochelle, and a 
daughter who died without issue. — Per Eleanor Stritch. 

The above particulars of the ancient families of Whites, Bourkes, Stritches, and Creaghs, are 
copied from an old MS. in the possession of Miles Vernon Bourke, Esq. M.D. of Limerick, a 
descendant maternally of the Stritches. 

In Sir Bernard Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland, the Creaghs of Dangan, County Clare, are 
represented as descended from Pierce Creagh, Esq. of Adare, Mayor of Limerick in IGol, son 
and heir of Pierce Creagh, Esq. of Adare, M.P. for the city of Limerick in 1G39, and deprived 
of his estate of Adare for having corresponded with the Duke of Ormond. On the restoration, 
he returned from France, and obtained by patent, the castle, town, and lands of Dangan, County 

Helenas White, Esq. J. P. of Limerick, possesses a pedigree on illuminated vellum, which 
shows that Richard White, the first of his family, came from England to Limerick, in A D. 1418, 
and acquired great honor and reputation. He settled at Ballyneety, so called from his name 
(Whitestown) in the County of Limerick, says the pedigree, and afterwards acquired the estate 
of BaUynanty in said count}'. From this Richard White of Ballyneaty descended several fa- 
milies of the name. Richard built the Castle and Church of Ballyneaty, and began the building 
of the Church of BaUynanty, which after his death was finished by his son and heir, who 
acquired the estate of Tullybrackey, where he also built a Church. The descendants of Eichard 
erected stately burying places in the said Churches of Ballyneety or Whitestown, BaUynanty, 
and Tullybrackey, and in the Cathedral Church of Limerick. Ulster King at Arms, A.D. 171G, 

* Curragower mill was held by several persons from time to time, but early in 1858 it was 
burned to the ground and not rebuilt. It was then held by Alderman Quinlivan, who worked 
it for some years, as tenant to the Limerick Harbour Commissioners, who purchased it, A.D. 1839, 
from the Old Corporation, tn whom thoy gave a sum of £300, and to ivliose Knant, Mr. Cornelius 
Jvash, they gave £2300, for the interest of his lease. 


have been let at a fair and equitable value, were parcelled out among the cor- 
porators and their friends, at a figure so very low, that when we examine the 
rental of this noble property, we ask ourselves where were the consciences of 
men, who could thus deal with public property ? Whilst we adniire the prin- 
ciple and fidehty which prevented the Stritches, the Whites, the Comyns, the 
Arthurs, &c. from renouncing faith and taking the oath of supremacy, from 
retaining the wand of office, rather than violate duty, we must deplore the 
laxity in Corporate affairs Avhich prevailed in an otherwise heroic age, but 
which we shall have to denounce a century later, when the property of 
the citizens was nearly alienated altogether, and the city bereft of the patri- 
mony which the charters of successive monarchs conferred upon it, and which 
was found and recognised by the inquisition of James I. to which we have 
been just referring. 

Jameses reign as we have seen, was rendered remarkable in Ireland, not 
only by the wholesale plunder of Cathohcs, but by their savage persecution. 
The question of the kiug^s supremacy created great disturbances among the 
corporators, and it was not until the accession of Charles the 1st in 1635, 
that the execution of these unjust and cruel laws were so far relaxed, that 
the mayor and sheriffs, viz. James Bourke, James Stackpole, and George 
Burke of Limerick, went publicly to mass : so far back as 1605, Fox the 
mayor was deposed for refusing to take the oath, and Andrew Creagh was 
appointed the first Protestant mayor. In 1617, a proclamation was issued 
for the expulsion of the Catholic clergy, and the city of Waterford, whose 
corporation had, like that of Limerick, resolutely refused to take the oath of 
supremacy, was in consi^quence deprived of its charter. 

In the year 1616, the mayor ordered the gate call Mongret, which had 
been long closed, to be reopened, i Hitherto the Cathohcs "had strenuously 
resisted the appointment of any but Cathohcs to the magistracy, but at last 
the Viceroy and council promulgated a decree prohibiting any one from dis- 
charging any pubhc office, unless he had first taken the oath of supremacy, 
and solemnly attended the Anghcan service, and this under the penalty called 
pnemimire. Hence it happened that they elected those whom they expected 
to be obedient to the king's wishes, whom they now call " conformists,''-' as 
they call the Catholics "recusants.-" In 1616, Dominick Roche, mayor, 
John Stritch and Richard Lawless, sheriffs, both conformists. 1617. John 
Stritch mayor, George James Creagh and Pierce or Peter Harold,^ sheriffs. 
The two later had conformed. 

certifies the pedigree above referred to, and an endorsement contains the names of Daniel 
O'Kearney, Bishop of Limerick, 1st of September, A.D. 1776, attesting that this family of the 
Whites had always remained in the Catholic faith ; of Laurence Nichell, Secretary to the Bishop, 
and by his command ; and of Michael Peter MacMahon, Bishop of Killaloe, testifying to the 
same effect. These Whites suffered severely by confiscation. The name of White appears in the 
city annals at a much earlier period than the fifteenth century. The family had enjoyed very 
high positions in the city as Magistrates, Mayors, &c. and in the Catholic Church, of which several 
of them were distinguished dignitaries, including Doctor Jasper White, P.P. who lived in the 
year 1C68, and compiled important ecclesiastical records, which are extant, and to which I refer 
in the proper place ; and the Rev. James White, P.P. St. Mary's, compiler of the MSS. Annals 
of Limerick. 

' Arthur MSS. 

* Harold.— This is one of the most ancient families in the city of Limerick, and is now repre- 
sented by Daniel and Edward Harold, Esqrs. (who inherit the paternal property which in penal 
times was held in trust by Lord Milton). They are sons of the late Richard Harold, Esq. of 
Pemywell House and Park, and grand-nephew of General Baron Harold, of the -regiment of 
Keaingsfeld in the Bavarian service, who distinguished himself highly abroad, and received the 
different orders of the Holy Roman Empire. Several others of the family rose to the highest 
rank in the service of Saxony and Bavaria. The Danish forces having had a bloody conflict 


1618. Dominick Roclie was Mayor and resigned in Dublin, when Pierce 
White was chosen. The sheriffs were Edward Sexton and David Roche, 
both conformists. 

Sir Ohver St. John, whom we have seen appointed with special instructions 
to enforce the law against recusants, also banished by proclamation, all monks 
and friars educated in foreign seminaries ; but his intolerable severity had 
created so many enemies, that he was unable to make head against them, and 
was superseded in 1622, by Henry Lord Falkland, to the great joy of the 
Catholics, who as at the accession of king James, began to erect and repair 
abbeys, and to re- appropriate the churches. Usher, Bishop of Meath, after- 
wards so well known as Archbishop of Armagh, distinguished himseK at 
this period by his gross intolerance, though his own ecclesiastical court, 
according to Bishop Bedel, might from its disgracefully corrupt state, have 
more fitly employed the energies of his great mind, than the most efficient 
mode of riveting the penal chains upon Catholics. 

In 1626, Falkland advised the Irish Catholics to send agents to King 
Charles I., who actually accepted from them the offer of £120,000 in return 
for some relaxations of the penal laws, then known by the name of " graces,-" 
and the advantages resulting from what were extended to other religionists 
besides Catholics. The money was to be paid in three yearly mstalmeuts, 
and the first instalment was actually paid, Avhen the agents on returning 
home, found that not only were the royal promises evaded, but that a pro- 
clamation had been issued against the " popish regular clergy'^ — and Lord 
Falkland being recalled, the penalties enacted in the reign of Elizabeth were 
mercilessly enforcech 

with the Irish at Singland, in which twelve hundred men were slain, an angel appeared in the 
camp of Auliff, the Danish Prince. Since then the Harolds of Limerick bear the angel habited 
issuing from a Ducal coronet. The Harolds of Dublin have a Lion Rampant gules as their 
crest — the arms of both families are the same — the motto is formitas in calo. In St. Mary's 
Cathedral the seat of one of the ancient oak stalls is carved with the Harold Arms and the above 
motto. Of this family was Harold, Bishop of Limerick, A.D. 1151. The name appears fre- 
quently on the principal roll of the city from A.D. 1418 to 1689. Twelve of the name were 
mayors of Limerick. Eighteen of the name were bailiffs and sheriffs. Sir Balthazaar Nihill, 
one of the Knights of Malta, was married to Miss Harold of Limerick. General de la Hitte, 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the French Eepublic, was married to the daughter of the 
celebrated beauty. Miss Jane Harold ; she was wife of Rogerson Cotter, Esq., of Mallow (uncle 
of Sir J. Cotter, Bart., of Rakferant), and aunt of Daniel and Edward Harold, Esqrs. above 
mentioned. This family is related to the Eyans, of Inch House, Co. Tipperarj^ ; the Macarthys, 
of Spring House, Co. Tipperary ; the Shiels, of Limerick, &c. ; the Grehans of the Count}' Dub- 
lin ; the Galways of Limerick and Cork; the Roches of Limerick ; the Woulfs of Clare, &c. &c. 
The portrait of Miss Jenny Galway, the wife of Richard Harold of Pemywell, and daughter of 
Sir Geoffry Galway, who was executed on the surrender of Limerick, in 1051, to Ireton, is in 
the possession of Messrs. Daniel and Edward Harokl. The late eminent Chief Baron Woulfe's 
grandmother was Miss Harold, of Pemywell. A curious circumstance connected with this 
ancient family occurred during the mayoralty of tlie late Alderman Joseph Gabbett. The ninth 
son of the General Baron Harold, above mentioned, feeling the absolute necessity of possessing 
himself of the family genealogy, which was essential to his recognition abroad, wrote to the 
mayor expressing his anxiety to this effect. The letter was written in French — lie was not 
aware that any of the name survived in Limerick. The moment Alderman Gabbett received the 
letter, he communicated with Richard Harold Esq., who immediately forwarded the required 
doculnents, duly attested and signed by the authorities, including the Catholic and Protestant 
Bishops of Limerick. The document went to its destination at Dusseldorf, where the young 
soldier was forthwith enrolled among the nobility, and his progress in the army, in which he 
had already distinguished himself, was rapid in the extreme. 





To return to the affairs of tlie city — 1634. In this year the Lord Deputy 
Falkland arrived in Limerick, and was entertained by Mr. Sexten, the mayor. 
On September the 4th of this year, died Donough O'Brien, Earl of Thomond, 
at Clonmel ; he was buried in St. Mary^s, Limerick, where there is a remarkable 
monument erected to his memory, which I notice among the monuments in 
that Cathedral. He was Lord President of Munster.^ During the reign of 
James I., the following persons had filled this high office : — Donough, Earl 
of Thomond, Sir Henry Beecher, Su* Henry Danvers, Sir OHver St. John, 
Henry Earl of Thomond, Sir Edward YiUiers, and Sir WiUiam St. Leger. 

It was in this year that Dr. Thomas Arthui', by his great skill in the pro- 
fession, saved the life of the man whose name we have already referred to, 
who figured more conspicuously than any other in his time, as a historian, an 
antiquary, an opponent of Cathohcs, and a prelate of the Church Establish- 
ment — we mean Dr. James Usher, who is called " pseudo-primas Ardmac- 
lianus,'' by Dr. Arthur, and who had lately returned from England, where 
he had been a long time, af&icted with a most dangerous disease which had 
baffled the skill of the physicians of that country. Not having been done 
justice to by the doctors in England, Dr. Ai'thur accordingly proceeded to 

' The authority of the President, in his district, was equal to that of the Viceroj' in Ireland. 
He had the power of life and death, could create knights, was royally attended with guards, 
and had power by patent to command all the forces raised in the province. He had authority 
to hear and determine all complaints and to hold Commission of Oj'er and Terminer, and gaol 
delivery throughout the province, and to hold his courts when and where he thought proper, 
with power to execute martial law upon all persons, who had not five pounds of freehold, or 
goods of ten pounds' value, and to prosecute any rebel with fire and sword ; for this purpose he 
might array any of the Queen's loyal subjects. He could hear and determine complaints against 
all magistrates and ofiicers, civil and military, throughout the Province of Munster, and the 
Crosses and Liberties of Tipperary and Kerry, and might punish the offenders at discretion. 
He had authority to put persons accused of high treason to the torture, and reprieve condemned 
persons : and to issue out proclamations, tending to the better ordering and regulation of the 
Queen's subjects. He had a retinue of thirty horse and twenty foot ; the under captain's al- 
lowance was 2s. per diem, and the guidon and trumpeter's 2s. each. He had also a serjeant-at- 
arms to carry a mace before him ; and it was his duty to apprehend all disobedient persons. 

Fynes Morison has given the following statement of the expense of the presidency of Munster 
for the year 1598. 

The Lord President's Salary, 
His diet, with the Council allowed) 
at his Table, j 

His retinue of 20 foot and 30 horse. 
The Chief Justice, 
The Second Justice, 
The Queen's Attorney, 
The Clerk of the Council, 
The Clerk of the Crown, 
The Serjeant at Arms, 
The Provost Marshal, 

£ s. 


per annum, ... 

... 133 6 



... 520 


... 803 


... 100 


... 66 13 



... 13 6 



... 20 


... 20 


... 20 


... 255 10 

£1,951 16 



Di'oghedaj to visit him professionally^ dwelling in the Archiepiscopal palace, 
and remaining there for some time from the 22nd of March, 1625.' 

The proclamation which was in this year issued against the regular clergy, 
was every where evaded and turned into ridicule. It was read in Drogheda 
by a drunlcen soldier in such a ridiculous manner, that it created great amuse- 
ment amongst the inhabitants, and was so despised by the Cathohc clerg}', 
that they nevertheless exercised full jurisdiction, and not only proceeded to 
build abbeys and monasteries, but " had the confidence"^ as Cox expresses it, 
"to erect a university in Dublin, in the face of the government, which it 
seems thought itself hmited in this matter by instructions from England.'" 
Concessions and ordinances, which were made in the Eoman Chapter of the 
Dominicans were issued, appointing, among other important matters, that 
Five Universities should be erected in Ireland, viz. at Dublin, at Limerick, 
at Cash el, A.thenry, and Colerain.^ 

It is by no means indicative of the progress of toleration, to find the same 
government refusing even a charter to a similar institution at this very day in 
Dublin, nor, says the same writer, was the beauty of the Protestant church 
at this time sullied by its avowed enemies only. Things sacred were exposed 
to sale in a most scandalous manner ; parsonages and episcopal sees were 
alienated, and the churches were generally out of repair. 

1626. There was a proposal from the Court this year for the toleration of 
the Catholic religion in Ireland ; but the Protestant Bishops protested against 

1629. Complaints were now made against the Lord Deputy for partial 
administration. He was soon after removed, and Adam Loftus, Viscount Ely, 
Lord Chancellor, and Eichard, Earl of Cork, Lord High Treasurer, were 
sworn Lords Justices. 

These Lords Justices caused St. Patrick's Purgatory to be dug up,^ and 
by directions from the Council in England seized on fifteen of the new 
religious houses of the Irish Catholics.^ 

• " On the 30th of August I proceeded to Limerick, where I remained until the tenth day of 
the following March with my wife, and obtained in the meantime from some patients £21 8s. Gd. 
At that time it was, that Mr. James Usher, Doctor and ' pseudo-primate' of Armagh, who 
had lately returned from England, where he had long laboured under a severe disease, to remove 
which, he had tried in vain the assistance of the royal physicians at a vast expense, sent for me. 
I waited upon him, while staying at his own palace in Drogheda, March li2nd, 1625. Then 
having heard his statement and weighed the opinions of the most eminent ph}-sicians, and 
serriousl)' studied the symptoms which arose throughout the whole history of the disease ; from 
these I thought I had explained the cause of this doubtful disease, which every day grew worse 
and worse, and which had hitherto escaped the observation of several very eminent men, which 
when I was sensible I had perfect!}' ascertained after making a slight experiment to try my 
conjecture,' I confidently undertook his cure ; nor did my hopes once deceive me. The curing 
of so eminent and on account of his erudition, so celebrated a man, of this grievous and stub- 
bom disease, which baffled the skill of the royal physicians and most eminent doctors of Eng- 
land, made me celebrated and a favourite amongst the English, whom I had greatly disliked 
[exosus] for the sake of the Catholic religion." While this cure was progressing, the Doctor 
accompanied the Primate to Lambay Island, v.-here remote from intrusion they devoted their 
attention to the cure. The Primate gave him £51 for his professional services. 

2 Hib. Angl. 

' Hib. Doni. pp. 115-G, which gives the year 1629; and shows, p. 117, that these ordinances 
were confirmed in 1644 to the Dominic:;n province of Ireland. 

« White's MSS. 5 it,id. 

8 Tlie state of affairs regarding land at this time, is shown by the following curious entry, 
which I find in Dr Thomas Arthur's MSS. : — 

" The Lord llenrye O'Brj'cn, Earl of Thowmond, lO^ Martii, 1635, did lease unto me for 
four score and nini.'teen yeares, three plow -lands and a half in Creatlaghmore and Portregue, 
at the rent of a red rose in mid-summer, or a grain of pepper if it he demanded. Uppon con- 
dition that if his honor, his heyres, executors or astignes die within six rooneths after warning 


Land changed hands to a great extent in these troubled and disastrous 
years ; and bargains were struck, which are hardly paralleled in the cheap 
dealings of the more modern Incumbered Estates^ Coui't. Dr. Thomas 
Arthur states,, that Daniel FitzTerlagh O^Brien of Aunagh, in Ormond, Esq., 
on the 1st of September, 1631, sold him the absolute fee simple of two 
plow-lands and a quarter, less one-eight and fortieth part of a plow-land, 
in the Barony or Cantred of Arra, Co. Tipperary, in the Parish of Temple- 
an-Calha, near BalKna, with the fishing wehs thereunto belongmg, in the 
river Shannon, for £200 ! He states moreover, that Daniel's foster brother, 
Kennedy M^Donough O^'Bryen, sold him on the same day, the half quarter 
of a plow-land, called Mehannach, and the half quarter of a plowland, called 
Droumnakearten, for £31 ! ! In order to warrant and defend aU these lands 
against all persons unto him (Dr. Arthur), his heirs and assigns, Moriartagh 
O'Bryen, son and heir of Daniel Kennedy M'Donough, procured John 
O'Kennedy of Douneally, William O'Kennedy of Lissenaragid, and Conor 
O'Cleary of Bruodyr, " all gentlemen of Ormond," to become bound 
with them in one thousand pounds bond of the statute staple, acknowledge 
to him at Limerick, 6th January, 1636. It is a startling fact that in a few 
years afterAvards, these gentlemen of Ormond, the O^Kennedys of Lissen- 
aragid, and of Dounally, figure in the Book of Distributions as forfeiters. 

WentwortVs progress in Connaught was made in 1635, to try by inquisi- 
tion the King's title to the counties of Roscommon, Shgo, Mayo, and Gal- 
way, and the county of the town of Galway ; in tliis he was successful. Gal- 
way alone opposing — but the sheriff and jurors, composed of the principal 
inhabitants of the county, confessed the King^s right, after they had been 
sent to the Star Chamber, and gave in their oaths to that effect in the Court 
of Exchequer.^ The case of tenures upon the Defective Titles was decided 
in a solemn judgment by all the Irish judges. Five of the judges concurred 
in the opmion that the holders of the Letters Patent from the King or any of 

be given them b}- me, my heyres, executors or assignes, pay us in whole sum and entyre pay- 
ment the sum of one thousand and fiftie pounds, sterling, with all the arrears of the interest thereof, 
then the said lease to be expired. William Brickdale, Esq., and George Conessis. Esq., are 
bound with his honor in bonds of the statute staple for the warrantie and performance of 
covenants. His honor by a special note under his hand is bound to save me from all subsidies 
and other country charges to be imposed upon that land during that mortgage, Edmond, Lord 
Baron of Castle Connell, who, in right of his wife, the Lady Margaret Thornton, the relict of 
Dunnough O'Bryen of Carrigogunnil, was tenant to the said Earl in the premises, did atturne 
tennant unto me, and payd me during his life a hundred pounds rent thereout, per annum. And 
since his death, the said Lady Dowager Margaret, of Castle Connell, payed me duly every year 
one hundred pounds sterling rent thereout until Easter, 1642, inclusively. But ever since thea 
payed me no rent thereout, and yet detained the land until she deserted it in ano. 165- (perhap.? 
1650) In a marginal note the land is said to contain : in Kilelypsh, 250 profitable, 183 un- 
profitable acres, 22 acres one-tenth profitable, Portreigue in Kilfentenan Parish, 243 acres profit- 
able, 58 acres one-tenth unprofitable, in ano. 1687, in Stratford's tyme. These plow-lands in. 
the survey made in the Earl of Stratford's tyme contained 720 acres. The Civil Survey Jurors, 
March, 2nd, 16o5, were these : Robert Starkey, Torlough MacMahonne, Paul MacNemara, 
Neptune Blood, Thomas Hickman, Captain Thomas Cullen, Thomas Clanchy, George Clanchy, 
Thomas Fanning, George M'Nemara." 

' Writing from the abbey of Bojde, 13th of June, 1635, Weutworth says to Lord Cottington, 
"It's true I am in a thing they call progress, but yet in no great pleasure for all that, all the comfort 
I have is a little Boney Clabber ; upon my faith I am of opinion it would like you at one measure, 
would you had j'our belly full of it, I warrant you, you should not repent it ; it is the 
bravest freshest drink you ever tasted — your Spanish Don would in the heats of Madrid hang his 
nose and shake his beard an hour over every sup he took of it, and take it to be the drink of the gods 
all the while. The best is, we have found his majesty's title to Roscommon, and shall do the 
like I am confident for all the other three counties, for the title is so good there, there can be 
nothing said against it." — Strafford's Letters and Despatches, vol i. p. 441. [lioney Clabber ia 
the Irish hnine cluba for " thick (sour) milk.]" 


his Majesty's predecessors, were altogether void in the above counties. Two of 
them gave judgment that the Letters Patent were void only as to tenure. On 
the 13th of July, 1635, judgment was given by the court in favor of the 
annulling of the Letters Patent.^ 

The fashions and customs of the citizens in these times were rather sin- 
gular. ^ 

Li the course of his journeys in 1636 to and from Connaught, Wentworth, 
on the 19 th of August, paid a visit to Limerick — he remained nine days, and 
was entertained by Dominick White, the mayor. A guard of fifty young 
men of the city attended him. John Meagh was captain of this guard — John 
Sexton and Pierce Creagh were subalterns. Wentworth left the city by St. 
John's Gate, and in doing so knighted the mayor. He bestowed on the 
corporation a silver cup, gilt, valued at £60.^ The impression made by his 
visit, notwitlistandiug the flattering evidences of municipal favor which he 
received, was anything but agreeable. %o this our own day his name is used 
by nurses in Lemster to frighten wayward children. His black and ferocious 
appearance was commented on by Dr. Arthur.^ His friend and councillor, 
George Radcliff, too, made the same hostile impression, as the nervous satire 
of Dr. Arthur was also used to indicate the estimate which was formed of 
his character by the people.^ Oue of the articles of impeachment, however, 

• Writing from Portumna shortly afterwards he says, " No Protestant Freeholder to be found 
to serve His Majesty on any occasion in this county (Galway), being in a manner mostly com- 
pounded of Papists, with whom the Priests and Jesuits (who abound in far greater numbers 
than in other parts) have so much power, as they do nothing of this nature without consulting 
them." — Ibid. 

2 163G. A wedding present in this year will no doubt be a curiosity in the eyes of my lady 
readers. It was given by Bartholomew Stackpole Fitzjames, Esq. to Miss Mary Arthur, daughter 
of Dr. Thomas Arthur before their marriage : — 

" A small goulde cross ; a goulde ring weighing 22 carats ; 2 small gould rings 5 carats each ; 
j£G in silver ; a small case of instruments ; a payer of imbroadered glowes ; 4 yeardes of satten 
rybbine ; 2 yeards of broad satten rj'bbine ; i yeard and h of boane lace, worth Ss. per yeard ; 
i blak hoode of duble currle ; one payer of whyte glowes ; i payer of Spannish leader shooes ; 
X yeardes of blak pynked satten ; 9 yeards of sliey colored tabbey ; i whyte fann with a silver 
handle ; i crowne lowe hood ; 6 payers of whyte glowes ; 4 yeards of 8d. broad satten rybbine ; 
4 yeardes of French sarge with 3 vnces of silver lace ; i large taffeta hood ; i crowne lowe hood ; 
6 payers of whyte glowes; 2 ivorye combes ; i payer of pfumed cordouan glowes ; a small silver 
seale." — Arthur MjS/:^., p. 133. 

3 White's MSS. 

* A physiognomic anagram on the name of Thomas Wentworth, a truculent and nefarious 
character ; a few letters of the name being changed : — 

Thomas Vaentvoorth, 
Homo torve lu Sathan. 
(Grim-visaged fellow Satan thou.) — Arthur MSS. 
' I publish the following twenty anagrams, with the change of a few letters, on the name of 
George Radclyffe, in which are clearly explained his origin, habit of body, mental character, the 
offices and duties he fulfilled, and his probable future exit : — 

Georgius Radclyffes 
Sic Fera gregi dolus. 
So a wild beast is treacherous to the flock. 
George Raclef, 
Fera gregi coins. 
A wild beast is a torture or whip to the flock. 
Georgio Radclife, 
O fera gregi dulci. 
wild beast to the sweet flock. 
Georgius Radclyfes. 
Fera disclusio gregi. 
A cruel abridgment to the flock. 
Georgius Radclyfes, 
Sufigessi Clodifero. 
Alluding to his evil counsels to the Lord Deputy not to receive appeals or complaints from th« 
people to the King. — Arthur MSS. 
I give the above as specimens of the twenty. 


against Wentworth afterwards was his having enlisted a large number of Catho- 
lics in the Royal army. There is no doubt he did enHst Catholics, and that 
many of the Catholic as well as Protestant gentry got commissions from hun.* 

Dominick Oge Eoche Mayor of Limerick, in 1639 was created Baron 
Tarbert and Viscount Cahirivhalla by King James II. titles which were never 
acknowledged by the House of Hanover. He was grandfather of the 
celebrated Sir Boyle Roche who died M'ithout issue in 1801. 

The same troubled state of men's minds, the same apprehensions, imagi- 
nations, &c,, which occupied the attention of the people in earlier times, 
continued to disturb them now in 1640. We have a singular evidence of 
this in a letter preserved in the R. I. A., among the Smith MSS., which 
relates a curious story of the " enchanted" Earl of Desmond, and his appear- 
ance under the form of a Black Horse in the Castle of Castle Connel.^ 

• Sir John Brovme, Knight of the Hospital in the County of Lymrick, was- indebted in a 
comparatively small sum to Dr. Thomas Arthur by bond dated 13th July, 1639. Sir John 
became a member of Parliament, and immediately after became a captain in the army of Lord 
Strafford. Soon after the wars began, he went into England, where being of the King's party, 
upon some quarrel between him and Mr. Christopher Barnwall, he was killed in a duel.— 
Arthur iMSS., p. 119—120. 

2 Limerick, the 13th of August, IGiO. This was sent to the Archbishop of Armach now in 
Oxford: — 

ffor newes wee have the strangest that ever was heard of, there inchantments in the Lord off 
Castleconnell's Castle 4 miles from Lymerick, several sorts of noyse, sometymes of drums and 
trumpets, sometimes of other curious musique with heavenly voyces, then fearful screeches, and 
such outcries that the neighbours neere cannot sleepe. Priests have adventured to be there, but have 
been cruelly beaten for their paynes, and carryed awa3'e they knew not howe, some 2 miles, and 
some -t miles. Moreover were seen in the like manner, after they appeare to the viewe of the 
neighbours, infinite number of armed men on foote as well as on horseback. What to make of this 
neither my Lord, nor the best divines wee have can tell, they have had many consultations about 
it. This hath bin since St. James's tyde ; much more could I write of it, and more than this had 
I tyme to wryte ; bat one thing more bj' Mrs. Mary Burke with 12 servants lyes in the house, 
and never one hurt, onley they must dance with them every night ; they saj' Mrs. Mary come 
away, telling her she must be wyfe to the inchanted Earl of Desmond ; moreover a countrey 
ffellow going off Knockiney ffaire,* to sell his horse, a gentleman standing in the waye, demand- 
ing whether he would sell his horse, he answered yea, for £5 : the gentleman would give him but 
£i : 10 : 0, sayinge he would not get so much at the ffaire, the fellow went to the ffaire, could not 
get so much money, and found the gentleman on his return in the same place who proffered the 
fellow the same money ; the fellow accepted of it, the other bid him come in and receive his 
money. He carried him into a fine spacious castle, payed him his money every penny and shewed 
him the fairiest black horse the fellow had ever scene, and told that that horse was the Earl of 
Desmond, and that he had three shoes alreadye, when he had the fourthe shoe, which should be 
very shortlie, then should the Earl be as he was before, thus guarded with many armed men 
conveying him out of the gates. The fellow came home, but never was any castle in that place 
either before or since. 

Uppon a Mannour of my Lord Bishoppe of Lymerick, Loughill hath been seen upon the hill 
by most of the inhabitants aboundance of armed men marching, and these seene many tymes — 
and when thej' come up to them they do not appeare. These things are very strange, if the 
cleargie and gentrie say true. God willing to-morrow or next day I purpose to go to the Castle, 
better to satisfye myself, this was but amongst other business to the Towne to averr the truth of 
the same. 


And I procured the loan, whereoff this is a true coppie. I understand this Holme is a gentle- 
man to the Lord Bishopp of Lymerick. — Smith 3fSS. in the Royal Irish Academy. 

* The Fair of Knockany appears to be one of the oldest fairs of which there is record. It is 
first mentioned under date 777 years before Christ, in the Annals of the Four Masters, and is 
noticed several times at more recent dates. It is not so anciently recorded as the Fair of Pilltown 
in Meath, but this latter has been disused since the English Conquest, so that Knockany appears 
to have the high distinction of being the oldest Fair on record in these countries, or indeed in any 
country. Fairs were about the earliest institutions mentioned, and they played a most important 
part in the history and civilization of the human race. It is not a little singnlar, then, that wa 
should in Ireland have such early records of them, established, as they were, in all countries and 






The causes "wliicli led to tlie desolating civil war of this century have 
been already explained. The intentional non-enrolment in chancery of the 
new letters patent^ the evasion of the ministers of Charles to carry the graces 
into effect^ and the repeated plantations^ discoveries and other means of 
dej)riving the native proprietors, at last produced their natural effects, and we 
shall have shortly to describe another dreadful civd war, wliich was to be 
followed by another, both being attended by a repetition of the favorite 
scheme of confiscation. The acts of Lord Strafford in Ireland, where he is 
stiU known amongst the people by the name of " Black Tom,^^ have been 
pronounced by the Historian Hume to be " innocent and laudable,^^ but inde- 
pendently of the fact that he Avas the chief means of destropng the woollen 
manufactures of Ireland, he is known to have ad\dsed his royal master to 
violate his promises to the Cathohcs, though he pubhcly rebuked those who 
doubted his majesty^s " gracious regards.''"' The means by which he enforced 
his schemes of plunder, by fining, piUoring and branding those jurors who 
refused to find for the king, are in themselves enough to refute these 
shamefully untruthful statements of the English Historian Hume. These 
means were indeed much more vexatious in their character than those persecu- 
tions which drove the Scotch Covenanters into a rebellion, T^'hich brought 
about those results that began with Strafford^s execution, and which ended in 
the estabhshment of the Cromwellian usurpation. Wandesford^ the successor 
of Strafford was himself succeeded by the Puritanical Sir William Parsons, and 
Sir John Borlase, both bitter haters of everything belonging to Catholics 
except theii' property, and it was the opinion of no less a person than king 
Charles himself, that but for these men's disobedience to his commands, the 
terrible Irish rebellion of 1641 would not at all have happened, or would 
have been quickly suppressed.^ These commands of the king were to pass 

throughout the remotest ages ; and still more remarkable is the fact, that in the Irish Fairs 
ceremunies and customs were performed almost identical with those described by Herodotus, as 
practised in the ancient Fairs of Persia and other Asiatic countries. Indeed there are many most 
interesting facts connected with this subject, which have met with attention from antiquarian 
■writers. I need not add that Knockany Fair exists to this day in fully its ancient importance. 

' In reference to Christopher Wandesfoord (sic), I find a curious entry in Dr. Thomas 
Arthur's diary, which I translate : — 

" Christopher Wandesfoord (whom I had previously attended) now Justiciary of Ireland, 
has been seized with a malignant fever this 14th day of November, which I predicted would end 
in his death, and he died on the 6th day : — 

Idem, IDth November, 

Idem, Kith November, ... 

Idem, 17th November, ... ... 

Idem, 18th November, 

Idem, 10th November, 

Idem, 20thNovember, on which day he succumbed to the sickness 
Sir James Ware mi.-takes when he states that' he died suddenly. 
» Curry (and his authorities). Civil Wars, 147. 










the bills for the securing of the estates of the natives, and for confirming 
the other " graces^^ before referred to, which Strafford's own biographer 
Macdiarmid admits were certainly moderate, relating as tliey did to abuses 
arising from a defective police, to exactions in the court of justice, depreda- 
tions committed by the soldiery, monopolies which tended to the ruin of 
trade, retrospective enquiries into defective titles, penal statutes on account 
of religion, and other evils, for which, to borrow Moore's expression, these 
wretched people were obliged to bribe their monarch. 

To this misconduct on the part of the government, and to other acts of 
oppression may be referred the atrocities of the great rebellion which now 
broke forth — a rebellion which ended in another sweeping confiscation, and 
which, according to Sir William Petty, cost the lives of no less than 36,000 

The insurrection at first was confined to Ulster, but the barbarities of the 
soldiers of the President of Munster, Sir Wihiam St, Leger, soon compelled 
the gentry of Kilkenny and Tipperary to form associations for the protection 
of their lives and property. Several noblemen had remonstrated against the 
cruel and indiscriminate vengeance exacted by these soldiers for certain rob- 
beries and outrages committed by some of the lawless natives ; but these 
remonstrances were heard with contempt, m consequence of which Lord 
Mountgarret and others of his friends became convinced that a conspiracy 
was being formed against the interests of the Catholics, and a general de- 
fection took place, which resulted in an appeal to arms, the immediate con- 
sequence being the reduction of all the towers and forts in the towns of 
Kilkenny, Waterford, and Tipperary. ^ The turbulent factions of some 
branches of the O'Briens were not as may be imagined idle on this occasion, 
though the Earl of Thomond exerted his influence as far as it extended. 
But, on the other hand, the anti-national Government was served Avith an 
energy on the part of another member of this family which had most im- 
portant results, and which has branded the name of Murrogh O'Brien, 
Lord Inchiquin, with indelible infamy, under the popular soubriquet of 
Morogh cm Totliaine, or, " Morrogh of the burnings." In the December of 
1641, a coahtion took place between the Anglo-Irish Catholics of the Pale 
and the ancient Irish. Out of this coalition sprung the Catholic confeder- 
ation, whose object was to establish their rehgious independence, and to 
recover the estates which they had lost by the sword, or the not less fatal 
instruments of legaHsed plunder. The confederation of Kilkenny consisted 
of two hundred and fifty-one members, including eleven spiritual peers, 
fourteen temporal peers, and twenty-six commoners. The members returned 
for the county and city of Limerick were O'Dwyer, afterwards Bishop of Lim- 
erick, William Bom'ke, Baron of Castleconnell, John Baggot of Baggots- 
town, Mark PitzHarris of Cloghinal -foy, Thomas O'Eyan of Doon, George 
Comyn, Patrick Panning, John Haly, Daniel Higgins, and Bartholomew 
Stackpole, all of Limerick. Lord Mountgarret was President of the Supreme 
Council. The death of the celebrated leader took place at this time at Kil- 
kenny ; his place was supplied by the Earl of Castlehaveu, Garret Barry 
was nominated General of the Munster forces, Owen O'Neill of those of 
Ulster, Thomas Preston for Leinster, and Colonel John Bourke for Con- 
naught. They commanded all persons to bear faith and allegiance to the 
King. They assumed to themselves the admuiistration of justice, assigned 

' Carte's Orniond. 


seven hundred men as a guard of honour for the assembly, sent for aid to 
foreign governments, petitioned the King and Queen for a redress of their 
grievances, and assumed the regulation of the currency. 

While Parsons and Ormonde Avere exerting themselves to restrain the 
mutinous dispositions which were at this time evinced by the soldiers under 
their command, the Irish national cause, which had sustained some reverses 
in Leinster and before Cork, were counterbalanced by the capture of Lim- 
erick. In the beginning of June a numerous but ill-disciplined body of 
troops sat down before it, including Lord Muskerry, General Barry, Pierce 
Butler, and Viscount Ikerin. The citizens evinced the strongest desire to 
receive the confederates, to whom they at once opened their gates. An 
attack on the King's castle was immediately decided on, and Captain George 
Courtenay, who commanded the place, prepared to defend it. This officer, 
who was the younger son of Sir Wilham Courtenay, had sixty men of his 
own company, twenty-eight warders and others, in all amounting to two 
hundred men, to maintain the defence, but they were much distressed for 
provisions, which they could only procure by stealth from the city. They 
had only sixty muskets ; the rest of their arms were petronels, pistols, cara- 
bines, and fowlmg pieces, and only five or six casks of powder. The con- 
federates commenced their attack by making a boom across the river opposite 
a place called Mockbeggar-Mear, within musket shot of the castle.^ It was 
made with long aspen trees fastened with iron links on the Thomond side to 
two mill stones, and at the opposite or city side to the tower of the Quay. 
The object of the boom, the completion of which after several interruptions 
was at last effected, was to prevent Sir Henry Stradling, who commanded 
some parliamentary ships on the Shannon, from throwing supplies into the 
water gate of the castle, and notwithstanding Courtenay's guns, the object 
was attained. The Irish took possession of St, Mary's Church, on which 
Muskerry ordered a gun to be mounted, from which they kept up a steady 
fire upon the castle ; but though the surrender of the place was expected to 
take place immediately, owing to want of provisions and ammunition, the 
Castle still held out : they accordingly resolved to undermine it. 

On the 31st of June three mines were completed and ready to be sprung; 
the first mine was begun near the churchyard of St. Nicholas, and when it 
was finished and a sufficient quantity of earth carried out, they set fire to 
the timber, which propped the cavern they had made, when a great part of 
the bulwark sunk down.^ They made two other mines with less success, but 
they continued working until the 21st of June, when a breach was made in 
the main wall of the castle ; Captain Courtenay capitulated, and the city of 
Limerick was in the hands of the confedei-ates. Muskerry, Garret Barry, 
and other officers, took possession on the next day. This was the most im- 
portant advantage as yet obtained by the confederates ; indeed the news of the 
capture of Limerick is said to have broken the heart of Sir William St. Leger, 
who died shortly afterwards. On his death the military command of Mun- 
ster was conferred on his son-in-law Lord Inchiquin, "Murrogh of the 
Burnings," Vice-President of the provmce, David Barry, Earl of Barrymore, 
being joined in commission with him to take care of the civil government, 

' In Ferrar's time a large piece of this boom fastened to a rock, supposed to weigh three or 
four hundred pounds, might be seen at the time of low water near the then House of Industry, 
row the County of Limerick Eoj-al Regiment of Blilitia Barracks, on the Nortli Strand. 

2 Carte's Ormonde, vol. I. p. 311, from which Ferrar's account is taken. 


"which by the death of the latter, which took place soon after, became also 
solely vested in Lord Inchiquin. The cannon and ammunition thus obtained 
by the confederates did them good service. One of these was a thirty-two 
pounder, by the terror of which they reduced all the neighbouring castles 
except Loughgur and Askeaton. In these our o"mi days of Whitworths, 
Armstrongs, Parrotts, and Blakelys, it is amusing to read Cartels description 
of this huge piece of ordnance, which was of so large a bore, he says, 
that it was drawn by twenty-four yoke of oxen. The county Limerick, how- 
ever, which was the great granary of the province,' was ui the hands of the 
confederates, and Inchiquin was unable for want of men to carry out his 
desires of destroying the harvest. Towards the end of July the two Generals 
prepared to march into Cork where the sea ports were held for the parliamen- 
tarians by Lord Broghill, Sir Charles Vavasour, Sir John Paulet, and Sir 
William Ogle. 

The Catholic party, who were now in possession of Limerick, made every 
exertion to repair and strengthen the fortifi cations. ^ 

Among those who were seized and imprisoned on this occasion by the 
triumphant party was George Webb, Protestant Bishop of Limerick. Ware 
states that he was a native of Wiltshire, an Oxford Student, greatly distin- 
guished for the smoothness and eloquence of his style as a preacher in the 
Court of Charles I. He died a prisoner in the Castle of Limerick, his body 
was interred in St. Munchin^s Church yard ; was taken up soon afterwards 
in order to see if there were rings or other valuables buried with liim, and 
again deposited in his last resting place. It is said that he had been in 
possession of the mitre and crosier of Cornehus O^Dea, who had been Bishop 
of Limerick from A.D. 1400 to 1426, and of the Black Book of Limerick, 
from which I have quoted so largely in the early chapters of this work, and 
from which I shall have occasion to quote more largely hereafter ; and that 
they then came into the custody of the Catholic Bishop, with whose succes- 
sors the mitre and crozier have ever since remained, objects of the highest 
ecclesiastical and archseological interest. 

Pierce Creagh was mayor in 1643, when the ramparts westward of John's 
Gate and Mungret Tower were built, in the battlement of one of which was 
the following Ime : — Pierse Ceeagh, Mayor, 1643.^ 

' Ibid, I., 842. 

2 16i2. This year, Pierce'Creagh^being maj'-or, the rampart from St. John's Gate of Limerick, 
•within the walls, towards the west, was made, and the new tower built there (Mungret Gate 
Tower) ; this appears by the stone fixed in that tower on the walls, where it says, that when 
Pierce Creagh was mayor that tower was built, but makes the year 1643. — White's jVSS. Dr. 
Arthur's statement in reference to this circumstance is in Latin, which we translate literally aa 
follows : — " When the citizens were strengthening the Southern Gate of Limerick, dedicated to 
St. John the Baptist, with an exterior triangular bulwark, at the public expense, I thought the 
work, when it had been finished, worthy of being celebrated with the following few verses, to be 
inscribed on marble : — [The verses are in Latin and may be literally translated as follows :] 

Altars and native hearths, and laws defending. 

Now doth the Royal city from this fort, 

The King's foes far remove, the miscreant knaves 

Stained with the dreadful murder of a king ; 

Removes afar those evil working troops, 

Foes to our country, lusting for our gold, 

Our homes and all. 

' At Plassy Mills, the property of Richard Russell, Esq., J. P., on a stone about four feet long, 
but broken thus •!• , built into the mill, and seen from the small bridge over the mill stream, 



During and before the mayoralty of Pierce Creagh FitzAndrew, many 
improvements were made by bim.^ 

By an act of parliament passed in tbis year^ tbe escheated portions of the 
city and suburbs^ with the island of Inniscattery, the fisheries of the Shannon, 
together with twenty-four thousand acres adjoining the city, and the same 
immunities as Dublin and Bristol, were set out to English adventurers at 
£60,000, and £1050 a year quit reut.2 

In this year, while the confederates, now masters of Limerict, Galway, 
Shgo, and Duncannon, and of all the chief towns of the kingdom, except 
Dublin and a few sea-ports, were strengthening their resources, and gaining 
important advantages, a commissioner arrived in Ireland from the Holy See, 
being sent by Urban YIII. at the instance of the celebrated Father Luke 
Wadding,^ a native of the city of Waterford, an able statesman, who at this 
time resided at St. Isidore^s College in Eome. — This was Father Peter 
Francis Scarampi, a priest of the Oratory, who was the bearer of a pontifical 
Bull, in which he praised the zeal with which the Irish fought for the inde- 
pendence of their religion. He was also the bearer of 30,000 crowns, 
collected by Father Luke Wadding from the Barberini, Spada, and other 
noble families. His Holiness also sent a large quantity of arms and ammu- 
nition, and a jubilee, with a plenary indulgence to all who should take up 
arms in the defence of religion. Scarampi, on his arrival, proceeded directly 
to Kilkenny, where he found the confederates warmly discussing the question 
of an armistice ; the Irish of the Pale being anxious to make terms with 
Ormond, while the old Irish, encouraged by the clergy, were hostile to any 

that runs into the Shannon there, is the following inscription, formerly over Mungret 
Gate :— 


Acpi — q. 

' Pierce Creagh FitzAndrew was active and enterprising. He built a fine " Stone howse" in 
Mary-street, which house is yet standing, and in which mantel-pieces, with the initials of his 
name, and the initials of his wife's name, may yet be seen.* The house is No. 9. It was mort- 
gaged in 1631 to Dr. Thomas Arthur for a sum of £300 ; and it is a curious fact that in the year 
1860, this identical house was sold by auction, and purchased bj' a Mr. Cooney, of Broadf ord, in 
the County of Clare, for the same sum of £300. It was in his maj-oralty that the causeway 
was finished through the Friar's bog (Monabraher), and the bridge over the causeway built, 
as appears by the inscription raised on a stone in the bridge in black letters : — 
" Hunc pontem ac Viam Stratam fieri fecit 
Petrus Creagh filius Andreas major ciutatis 
Liraericensis sumptibus ejusdem ciutatis, A.D. 163o." 

In Davis' MSS., it is said in rhyme that a Scotchman came to ply a ferry-boat between 
Limerick and Parteen, but as he demanded money in advance, the city refused to deal with him — 
hence the causeway was made. 

* Irish Statutes, 17th Charles I. 

3 Ilib. Doin. 650, and the authorities there quoted — the author here quoted assigns this 
mission to the year 1G44, but the Arthur MSS. to 1643. The latter date is adopted by Father 
Meehan also, iu his interesting historv of the Confederation of Kilkennv. 




16 I.H.S. 33. 


proposals which should not ensure their religious rights. The Papal envoy 
gave every encouragement to the old Irish party. 

The conduct of the Mayor and Corporation, and of certain prominent 
citizens of Limerick in this crisis, was selfish and timid in the extreme ; they 
desired, as it were, to remain, quiescent spectators of what was passing, rather 
than take an active part in events of the deepest national interest. The 
truth is that many of them were secret sympathisers with Lord Inchiquin, 
and the Earl of Thomond with whom they carried on a constant correspon- 
dence. To counteract the mischief which was growing out of this state of 
things, the Council of the confederation, which was now in Clonmel, des- 
patched Sir Daniel 0''Brien of Dough, and Mr. George Comyn of Limerick, 
with directions to confirm the party faithful to the confederates in their reso- 
lutions, to sift to the bottom of what was agitated, and to prepare the way, 
if possible, for the coming of the confederate Council to Limerick. But the 
Major, and those who acted with him, notwdthstanding the opinions to the 
contrary of the Eight Eev. Dr. Arthur, who was Cathohc Bishop, the Clergy, 
and the citizens generally, were violently opposed to the introduction of the 
Council and Envoy, and represented the country to be scarce of corn between 
Clonmel and Limerick ; that great inconvenience would arise from the crowds 
which would be certain to arrive if the Council repaired to the city.^ Dr. 
Thomas Arthur conducted the correspondence on the part of the Mayor, &c. 
and his letters, two of which from his MSS. I give in a note, testify to the 
extreme sensitiveness which was felt lest the Papal Envoy and Council 
should arrive in Limerick. ^ 

' Billing's Fragmentum Historicum in Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica. 

2 " Doctor Doniinick White, for the second time Mayor of Limerick, and the rest of the Coun- 
cillors and principal men of the city have earnestly requested me to write in their name this letter 
to the distinguished personage Lord Peter Francis Scarampi, at present acting in the capacity of 
Apostolic Nuncio for Ireland, to explain, in the form of apology, the true causes of ingress into 
that city being refused to him on the 28th of October, anno Dom. 164:3. 

' Most Illustrious Lord. — Our Lord Bishop Richard Arthur, venerable for the dignity of his 
love and merits, indignant on account of your Lordship's non-admission, has interdicted me the 
Mayor of Limerick, my predecessor and other leading men of our Council, nor can we find any 
room for pardon with him, unless your Lordship, of your eminent humanity and clemency, will 
vouchsafe to intercede for us. But you will say that we are persons of an impudent character, 
to presume to ask that favour of you who lately excluded you in a shameless manner. Yet we 
hope, indeed, that your Lordship will be more favourablj'' disposed towards us, when you shall 
have weighed the influential causes which forced us against our will to commit that act of inhos- 
pitality, which causes we shall here without deceit explain. 

Our city from the beginning of this war has been divided principally into two sects or factions, 
of which the one did in a great degree hanker after murder, theft, rapine, and robbery, whilst 
the other while it had devoted to the pious services of labouring for religion, king, and state, 
disdained to be defiled by the commission of such base crime and the stain of filthy lucre. The 
former, conscious of guilt, and apprehensive of a rebuke for their crimes, and a forthcoming 
demand of restitution one day or other, fear all things ; trust not even those that were 
bound to them by ancient ties, find no asylum suificiently secure, persecute the innocent 
with internecine hostility. Whilst the latter, from the conscientiousness of their integrity, is 
buoyed up with better hope, and is compelled to devote a considerable part of their industry, 
in repelling and overpowering the tricks, stratagems, frauds, and snares of the other party 
that menace them, and they were particularly engaged in that care recently, when the elections 
were appointed for the creation of mayor, sheriffs, and other new magistrates ; for then the feelings 
of the citizens and of all ranks were divided between antagonistic leanings, and so, great feuds, 
quarrels, and passionate disputes arose, as well in the county as in the city, that none such have 
hitherto occurred within the memory of our forefathers. For the first faction laboured with all 
its might for the creation of magistrates, who would comply with and agree to their suggestions 
and counsels ; who, if they should attain their object, threatened to lead 500 soldiers to winter 
and spring quarters to Limerick, when there was alreadj' a cessation to arras and sieges ; then 
at length, when they should be secured by so great a force or garrison, they threatened that exile, 
the gibbet, and the loss of all their properties impended over such of the other party as were 
troublesome, and other such things as surpassed all endurance. By these clamours of malice 
and envy, discreet men of the innocent faction (if I may use the expression) were excited and 


The Council saw througli the hollow manceuvre ; but as they could not 
garrison the city, they adopted prompt measures to prevent the citizens from 

roused, and they acknowleclged that now the time -was at hand when, if they possessed any 
resources in talent, industry, friends, dependants, or wealth, they were bound to employ all these 
energetically in the defending and upraising of the commonwealth soon doomed to fall, and in 
the preservation and defence of their lives, their wives, their children, and all their properties. 
And lest they should give occasion by their own neglect or violence to the city, being betrayed 
and reduced to the last degree of distress by a too numerous party who aimed at it, they spent 
days and nights in anticipating and averting the attempts of their antagonists, and in restoring 
their fellow-citizens to a better way of thinking and becoming integrity. 

Meantime, while we were circumstanced in such peril, after we had passed several months 
suspected, and apprehensive in avoiding and laying stratagems alternately, behold we learned by 
sudden report that your Lordship would come hither in a few days, which kept us in a state of 
anxiety and solicitude : for we feared lest some clandestine embassy sent by our adversaries 
would draw you over to give credit to their attempts by your presence, being sufficiently assured ; 
and having clearly foreseen that if j-our most illustrious Lordship should influence the minds of 
the citizens, while hesitating, vacillating, and in suspense, that we should lose our cause, which 
is so legitimate and of so great moment, and on which our own safety and that of the whole 
community depends, and that the populace, being won over, would raise some disturbance in the 
city ; wherefore we judged that it was of the utmost consequence to the public interest, as soon 
as possible, to entreat you through our envoys, that you would be pleased to make a longer 
delay at Cashel while we should provide for ourselves and the interests of our community ; which 
care kept us so anxious and busy employed, and distracted our attention, that we had not time to 
pay your Lordship the respects due from your humble servants, by suitable honors and adequate 
preparations ; and that presently when we had transacted the business which was then to be done 
in the city, that your Lordship's arrival would be most grateful to us. But our envoy having by 
no means obtained his point, brought us word that your most illustrious Lordship had decided to 
ride up to our gates for the purpose of seeing our Bishop [Presul] ; from which unexpected 
reply that former suspicion of ours received a great aggravation, respecting the clandestine and 
crafty pronouncement of your arrival by our antagonists, which we could not be led to expect 
would take place, until astonished by the sudden intelligence of your being mounted on horseback 
before our gates. We at length adopted the resolution, that our envoy should explain to you 
in what anxiety about present circumstances our Council and people were involved and engaged, 
and to request in our name, that for that night at least you would go to either of the splendid 
houses distant not more than one mile, of Mr. Jordan Roch, Town Councillor, or Nicholas Haly, 
Esq. also a fellow-citizen of ours, where j'ou would be honourably received, and there on the 
next morning kindly await the further wishes of the Council. Waiting in the meantime to see if 
we should happen to learn from some of your attendants or household secretaries, something that 
would remove that scruple about the designs of the adverse faction, and had that happened 
according to our desires, we would receive you freely, and, as the saying is, with open arms ; but 
your hasty and more distant withdrawal disappointed both of us in our wishes and expectation. 

Illustrious Sir, ;-ou have the true sentiments of our minds disguised by no fabrications, which 
we suppliantly praj' you may receive with the same sincerity of mind ; and that you pardon your 
servants, whom the fear of domestic feuds, plotting against our lives and fortunes, has drawn 
aside from the path of our usual and ancient civility and due deference ; and humbly imploring 
the apostolic benediction that you would kindly grant it to us, and that you would graciously 
remove the indignation of our bishop against us, for which marks of civilitj' and decency, our 
city Councillors and all classes would be eternally obliged to you, as well as myself. 

Your Lordship's most humble Servant, ' 

Llmerich, \ith October, 1643. 

This other letter also by the advice of the same Mayor and Council, I wrote to the same 
Peter Francis Scarampi on the 5th January, 1643, old style. 

Most Illustrious Lord — As when I was lately at Waterford, and had offered to you the apology 
of our mayor, and of all classes of our city, and explained to you the reasons of our constant 
duty and obedience to the apostolic seat, so in turn when I came to Limerick, I extolled the 
praises of your kindness, benignity, and indulgence towards them, and brought word that your 
most illustrious Lordship had decided upon thoroughly effacing and removing the mark of the 
offence you had taken, honoured our city and aged bishop with your presence, and fixed for that 
purpose upon the next spring as being most suitable, being the time when you should have some 
respite from the anxiety of business, as well as when the serenity of the air, the tranquillity' of 
the weather, and the pleasantness of the country might conduce more to your health, and miti- 
gate the tediousncss of so long a journey. The reason for which candour on your part, and 
foresight in selecting the time of the proposed journey', all approved, and did not expect your 
most welcome arrival before that time. But our mayor very latelj- heard that our bishop had 
intended (I know not what secret advice moving him to it), himself and the rest of the common 
council, and some one of the clergy, should invite and bring hither your most illustrious Lord- 
ship at so unseasonable a time of the year, when, without the pressure of some urgent necessity, 


joining the Earl of Thomond to the injury of the Confederate Government. 
The influence which the Earl of Thomond exercised over the merchants of 
Limerick was well known^ because he occupied Bunratty Castle, and the 
islands on the Shannon, which commanded the navigation of the river. He 
could destroy their commerce, injure their- credit, and prevent their approach 
to or from the sea, if he chose. The Council despatched Su- Daniel O^Brien 
and Daniel O^Brien of Dough, to seize the Castle of Bunratty, and the 
person of the Earl. The one was the uncle, the other the near kinsman of 
the Earl — and both were persuaded that it was the best thing could happen 
him, for the Council had resolved, if he could thus be compelled to join the 
Confederation, that without interfering with his religion, a great part of his 
estates would be preserved for him, and no declaration required by which he 
should be subject to the penalty of neutrals. But the Earl was fully ahve to 
what he conceived to be his own interests. He had already given up Bunratty 
to the Parliamentarians, and it was not recovered without a formal siege,' as 
we shall see as we proceed. 





The war, in its very beginning, produced great changes in the circum- 
stances of some of the highest personages in the land. The Marquis of 
Antrim, whose Dowager is stated to have been reduced to such a state of 
poverty by the war,^ returned to Kilkenny this year, having effected his 

no prudent person ought to persuade, or even propose that your Lordship should expose yourself 
to the uncertainty of the weather, the inclemency of the winter, and the inconveniences of so 
long, muddy, and deep a journey. Wherefore our mayor, and the other leading men of the 
council intreated me to write in their names to your most illustrious Lordship, and in the first 
place recall the memory of their due respect towards you, their most humble request that, since 
your Lordship is pleased to adhere firmly to j'our first point, and commendable purpose, and to be 
induced by no intreaties to anticipate that time, which is so suitable, and which you will appear 
to have more prudently taken forethought for your health, exposed to very many inconveniences, 
on account of the unusual variety of climate, soil, and food, and to do a most acceptable thing 
to our mayor and the rest of our council, preoccupied in collecting very large sums of money, 
as well for promoting the expeditions of those led into England, and the army (intended) for 
Ulster, as well as towards the third collection of £30,000 sterling, to be paid to the King, as 
well as (preoccupied) by other cares arising out of present circumstances. Wishing your most 
illustrious Lordship every success, 

Your very humble servant, 

T. A." 

' Billing, Fragmentum Historicum. 

2 We give the fact in the words of Dr. Arthur : — 

1643. Dame Elis Ny Neyl, Countess Dowager of Antrim, by reason of the warrs, was reduced 
to extremitie, and driven to pavne her 2 rings, a cross, and a ievvell of gould, inlayed with rub- 
bles and dyamonds, to John Barnevill, for £20 sterling, with a bill of sale past of' them, unless 
shee had redeemed the same by the 20th day of September, 1G43, which not being able to doe 
of her own raoneyes, was driven to mortgadge the premisses to Thomas Eoch Fitzl^yers, of Byrr, 
merchant, for the said sume of £20, which shee delivered to the said Barnevill in redemption of 
the said jevvells, and promised him, the said Roch, £20 10s. for lending her the said £20 from 
the 2nd of August to Michaelmas enseuing, 1643. And the said Countess being at Lymrick the 
9th of September, 1643, desired me to pay the said Thomas Roch the said sume of £21, and to 


escape from Carrickfergus, and recently come from England. He proposed 
to raise troojis to assist Montrose in Scotland; and tbc Confederates, wliora 
he liad joined, agreed to furnish him with arms, and 200 barrels of oatmeal, 
which were to be shipped to Scotland by Mr. Archer, a merchant of 

On the 21st of July, 1644, Ormonde was duly sworn in Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland. About this time Edmond O'Dwyer, afterwaids Bishop of 
Limerick, where he distinguished himself when Ireton beseiged the city, was 
sent to Rome by the Confederation, with a memorial to Pope Urban, praying 
his Holiness to promote Father Luke Wadding to the College of Cardinals. 
On 17th of July, Lord Inchiquin had addressed a memorial to the Parlia- 
ment in England, which was signed also by Lord Broghill, Sir Percy Smith, 
and other distinguished officers, against the cessation of hostilities for a year, 
which had been signed by Ormond on the part of the King, with Lord Mus- 
kerry on the part of the Irish Confederation. Inchiquin was in consequence 
appomted President of Munster, which had been refused him by the King, 
and which was the cause of his changing to the side of the Irish Parliament. 
He was, however, reduced to inactivity at present by the winter and the 
want of supplies, and in the spring of the next year the Confederate General, 
Castlehaven was in the field at the head of 6000 men, with whom he over- 
ran the country, taking possession of Cappoquin, Mitchelstown, Mallow, 
Doneraile, the Castle of Liscarrol, and other strong places. 

In the end of October considerable succors were received in money and 
supplies from Pope Innocent X. These timely succors consisted of 2000 
swords, 500 cases of petronels, 20,000 pounds of powder, and five or six 
trunks full of Spanish gold. They were entrusted to the cfire and manage- 
ment of the celebrated John Baptist Einuccini, prince and archbishop of 
Eermo, in Italy, who was consigned to the supreme council of the Confeder- 
ation, with the rank of Nuncio Apostolic, and was received at Kilkenny vriih 
the greatest possible joy and honour by the council ; presently he was sur- 
rounded by archbishops, bishops, a great number of the nobihty and citizens 
following the Lord Mountgarrett, President of the Council, welcoming him 
with open arms.^ In his report to the Pope, Einuccini shows he had formed 
but a poor estimate of these outward manifestations of respect and attach- 
ment. He gives no credit to Ormond for sincerity in any one point of view : 
he states, on the contrary, that the Marquis boasted of having the Pope's 
money, and he alleges that, mstead of making preparations to meet projected 
attacks on the confederation, he did all he could to afford the enemy a safe 
and victorious progress to Kilkenny. 

As a counterpoise to this success, we may mention the loss at this time 
of the Castle of Bunratty, belonging to the Earl of Thomond, and which 

keepe her said jewell in my owne custodie untill shee were able to pave mee, to prevent future 
consumption and inconveniences which may ensue unto the said Ladye through the accrueing 
interest sought by tlie said Kocli : I to pleasure the said Countess payed the said Koch the £20 
aforesaid, and kept the said Jewells salfe for the said Ladye, demanding noe interest of moneyes 
of her. 30th Aprilis, 1649, by vertue of the said Ladj-e Dowager, her letter dated at Grange- 
begg 29° Martii, 1649, I delivered the said Jewells to Sr. Connor O'Cuillenane, a Franciscan 
fryar, from whome I receaved twentie pounds, and five shillings, sterling, and who uppon his 
oate promised to see me payed of 15s. more, bj' May day then next ensueing, instead of the 3 
picatouns which were counterfaiet, and that I would not then receave for my payement. John 
Arthure Fitzllobert, James Ryce FitzJohn, Nichd. Wale, and Thomas Power FitzJaraes wera 
present. — Ih: Thomas Arthur's M8S., p. 137. 

• The Archers were an ancient Anglo-Irish family in Kilkenny. 

2 VindicisD Catholicorum Hibcrnife. 


Avas now tukeu by the Earl of Inchiquin. But this important castle was 
subsequently re-taken by the Confederate troops under Lord Muskerry/ an 
advantage not deemed inferior to tlie capture of the castle of Roscommon^ 
which about the same time was taken by the Confederate Preston. 

On the 13th of June^ 1646, Father Hartigan, S.J. who had been sent into 
Ulster as chaplain general to the troops, returned to Limerick with the news 
of the great victory obtained by the Confederates, under Owen Roe O'Neill, 
over Monroe at Benburb ; along with the news Father Hartigan brought 
thirty-two standards, captured from the enemy. More than 3000 of the 
British forces were slain. 

' The capture of Bunrattj^ Castle was an object of the most critical importance to the Confe- 
derates. The Earl of Thomond,* who before lived peaceably in this castle, admitted into it at 
this time, a garrison of 800 foot and 60 cavalry, most of them reformed officers, under the com- 
mand of Lieut-Colonel MacAdam, "a stout officer," who began at once to raise works to 
strengthen the castle, which, owing to the marshes about it, might be impregnably fortified. 
Bunratty, wliich was strong, was deemed before the invention of artillerj' capable of defying all 
attempts to take it. It was now placed in a state of complete defence^ and a mount was raised 
whereon were four pieces of cannon. A small castle, and behind this the church, Avhich is now 
a ruin, stood at a little distance from this platform, all within a deep trench, well flanked, in 
which the Parliamentarians meant to draw water from the river, which ran to the east of the 
castle. Lord Muskerry advanced to encamp in the parish of Bunrattj', having taken a castle 
upon quarter which stood at the entrance into the park, wherein the enemj' had left some mus- 
queteers. The finest deer in Ireland roamed through the park ; and the Irish soldiers took good 
care to supply themselves with plenty of venison ; the wood, too, was preserved from destruction 
because the dry brush afforded better firing, and was easier gathered. Lieut.-General Purcell, 
Major-General Stephenson, and Colonel Purcell, all veteran otKcers who had served in the Ger- 
man wars, were principally instructed with the conduct of this action. {Billing?) After some 
skirmishing, they became masters of all the ground without the broad, deep trench on the west 
side of the castle, and sat down at such a distance that the brow of the bank kept Muskerry's 
camp from being annoyed from the castle or the mount. Faggots and baskets were supplied hj 
the under wood. The garrison in the castle was brought by a portion of the Parliamentarian 
fleet on the Irish coast, under the command of Sir "William Penn, which had arrived in the 
Shannon on the 11th of March, 16-16, and which in its course up the river had committed several 
atrocities on the unprotected inhabitants ; it anchored between six and seven o'clock on the same 
evening off Bunratty, and sent a trumpetter to the Earl of Thomond, with a letter from Sir 
William Penn and Lieut.-Colonel MacAdam, — the Earl received it kindly, embracing the motion, 
and jjromising to join them. {Memorials of Sir William Penn). After negociations, which were 
carried on the next day by Sir Teague M'Mahon — the Earl not appearing in person — they landed 
700 men on an island close to Bunratty ; Captain Huntly, one of the Earl's retinue, waiting on 
them, invited them to confer with the Karl, with whom they dined, and found him well disposed 
towards the Parliament ; the soldiers then marched over, and quartered in Bunratty that night. 
The Earl was evidently anxious to play off the Admiral and his party if he could ; but he committed 
himself irretrievably to them. {Memorials of Sir William Penn). The ship, which the pilot told 
them might go up within two or three cable's length of Bunratty, at five fathoms at low water, 
grounded on a ledge of rocks six feet high at the north side of the river, and was not got off 
without difficulty, and sustaining severe injury. The seige was carried on with skill and bravery 
on both sides ; the beseiged, who were supplied with men from the ships, sallied out often, but 
owing to the proximity of the hill, and other causes, their sallies did no harm. In one of them, 
however, on the 1st of April, Captain Magrath, commander-in-chief of the Irish horse, was 
wounded ; a route followed, in which a large number of the Confederate army were taken 
prisoners by the Parliamentarians. In the afternoon a general attack was made on the Con- 
federate camp at Six Mile Bridge, where a hot engagement ensued, which terminated in the 
overthrow of the Confederate camp, the soldiers of which were pursued two miles, and 250 bags 
of oatmeal, and other provisions which were found in the camp, were taken by the Parliament- 
arians, whose stores were well nigh exhausted. Captain Magrath and a lieutenant, both of 
whom had died of their wounds, were honorably buried with three vollies of small shot. 
Previously to this Lord Muskerry had made every exertion to distract the attention of the 

* Sir Barnabas O'Brien, sixth Earl of Thomond. On his arrival in England, where he 
married Mary, youngest daughter of Sir James Fermor, Knight, lineal descendant of tlie Barons 
Lempster, Earls of Pomfert, he waited on the King at Oxford, who created him Marquis of 
Billing, in Northamptonshire, a title never enjoyed by his posterity, as the patent did not pass 
the Great Seal owing to the troubles. — Lodge. [He was descended from Conor, who d. in 1539 ; 
Incliiquin frum Moukogh the Tanist who died in 1551. The last P.arl of Thomond died in 1741. 
The above ancestora were brothers.] 


The nuncio writing from Limerick in the 16th of this month, thus describes 
the thanksgivings offered up upon this occasion, ^ The next day (Sunday 
14th June, 1646,) at four o^clock in the afternoon, a triumphal procession 
was formed from the church of St. Francis, where the standards had been 
deposited. ' The whole of the military in Limerick under arms led the way, 
after them came the standards, borne aloft by the gentlemen of the city. 
The nuncio accompanied by the Archbishop of Cashel and the Bishops of 
Limerick, Clonfert and Ardfert followed ; after whom came the members of 
the supreme council, the mayor and magistrates in their robes of office. The 
people filled the streets and windows, and on the arrival of the procession at 
the cathedral, the Te Deum was sung by the nuncios choir. He himself 
offered up the accustomed prayers, and concluded with a solemn benediction. 
Next morning he assisted at the mass in St. Mary^s Cathedral, for the giving 
of thanks, which was chanted by the Dean of Fermo in St. Mary^s Cathedral, 
in the presence of the prelates and magistrates above mentioned. ^ 

The negociations and intrigues which followed these events,^ and which 
ended in the signing of Ormond's peace in 1646, fill a large space in the 
history of the times. The Nuncio protested with all the vehemence he 
could employ, and summoned the prelates and other chiefs among the clergy, 
with the heads of religious houses to meet him at Waterford, where with 
all the formality of an apostolic visitation, or a regular national synod, 
the peace was unanimously denounced, the scruples or fears of those 
who inclined towards it, were set at rest by promises of Pdnnuccini that 
large assistance would come from Eome, and that the Archbishop of Cashel 
had given his assent by saying " in verbo tuo laxaho rete." 

besieged, and to lodge a number of bis soldiers in a place by wbich a part of the array 
miglit be enabled to invest the castle ; this was successfully executed, but the soldiers, hearing 
a noise which they imagined was the approach of cavalry, fled in consternation, the ser- 
geant appointed to command the part}' being the first to take to his heels, relying on too great 
indulgence hitherto observed in such cases. Lord Muskerry, however, made a stern example — 
the sergeant and ten soldiers were executed on the spot. To make up for the partial reverse, 
Lieut. -Colonel MacAdam, who is admitted by Billing to have been a most skilful and couragious 
officer, whose loss to the Parliamentarians was irreperable, was killed bj' an accidental shot from 
a field piece that was planted among gabions.* His loss was the main cause of the capture of 
Bunratty by the Confederate army. Several pages of that very interesting work, " The Me- 
morials of Sir William Penn," (2 vols., Duncan, London, 1833) are occupied with a diary of this 
seige, and with the proceedings of the Parliamentarians before Bunratty. During the time they 
attacked the castles of Eossmanaher, Cappagh, Kenane, Captain Hunt's castle, &c., and killed 
many inoffensive country people, who, in the diary of the operations, are called " IJogues," &c. 
&c. The progress of the seige was satisfactorily hastened by the presence of Rinunccini, the 
Papal Nuncio, who remained at Bunratty twelve days, forwarding the batteries, completing the 
undertaking, and ultimately, when victory crowned the effort with success, causing the English 
standards to be carried through the streets of Limerick as trophies of the Catholic religion. 

• From the Nunziatura in Irlanda : Florence, 1844. 

2 Among those killed at Benburb was Lord Blany ; Lord Montgomery who commanded the 
horse, was made prisoner ; in his pocket was found a note of the lists of the army on their way 
to Kilkenny, where they expected to be in twelve days march. Besides the general joy which 
so signal a victorj' was to all the confederates, and the solemn thanks which were rendered to 
God for it by the Council and Nuncio at Limerick, the Pope, as soon as he had heard of it, went 
in person to Santa Maria Major at Eome, to be present at the Te Deum he caused to be sung for 
the good success of the Catholics in Ireland. — BilUruj's Fragmenium Ilistoricwn. 

3 In a letter to the Father General of the Jesuits, at Eome, the Nuncio complains that the 
Fathers of the Society in Ireland were the causes of all the commotions against him, and that 
they raised disobedience to his interdicts. He states, however, that the Eector of the Order in 
Limerick refused to obey Father Molone, the Superior in Ireland who conducted the intrigues 
against him. He adds that in Kilkenny, bj' his (the Nuncio's) influence, the Jesuit Fathers ob- 
tained the Abbatial Church of St. John, and in Waterford the Church of St. Peter. 

• Lieutenant-Colonel John MacAdam was an ancestor, I am informed, of the MacAdaras of 
Blackwater House, in the Countv of Clare. 


In his report to the Pope^ Einnuccini gives not only a full account of the 
causes which produced the confederation of 1641, but enters into all the 
particulars connected with the event ; the errors with which it was mixed up ; 
the want of union among the leaders ; the conflicting interests and passions 
that were engaged ; Ormond-'s fatal and lamentable peace which he denounced 
as the most unfortunate thing that could happen for the affairs of religion. 

In Limerick where the confederate council sat, the peace, which had 
been solemnly established by decree of that body, was carried by the 
public vote of the city assembly, but the officers appointed for the execution of 
the charge were affronted, the confederate government was treated with utter 
disobedience. On the evening of the 20th of August, the heralds of 
Ormondes peace came to Limerick, the gates were shut against them, the next 
day they were allowed in and the herald at arms, vested in the coat of his 
office, attended on by John Bourke, the mayor, the aldermen and some of the 
principal citizens, who were at all times willing to accept any advantage 
■which they supposed would subserve their own interests, began to proclaim 
the peace. A vote in its favor had been carried by the mayor and aldermen 
the day before. The people resolved to resist it, and Avere then exhorted by 
the clergy, Avho had published the censures, which had been decreed by the 
Nuncio and congregation, at Waterford, a few days before. Under the conduct 
and by the instigation of Mr. Dominick Fanning, and the Rev. Father 
Wolf, a Dommican Friar, who at the High Cross, in the midst of 500 armed 
citizens fulminated excommunication against its adherents, the people fell sud- 
denly on the herald, flung stones at him, at Bourke the mayor, and all the alder- 
men who were about him, and all those of the " better sorV-* who countenanced 
the action ; and having scattered their ranks with so unexpected a volley, 
the wounded herald, tore his coat of arms from off his shoulders, beating' the 
mayor and some of the aldermen, and without the slightest respect for their 
scarlet robes or the badges of magistracy, drove them for shelter into the next 
door that stood open. Soon after, amid the acclamations of the crowd, without 
form suggested by charter, or any ancient custom for the usage of election, 
they chose Dominick Fanning, mayor, and to him, the Nuncio, a few 
days "after, by his letter returned thanks for the obedience he had given to 
his decrees, and for his zeal in favor of the Catholic cause. ^ 

It would no doubt be sm-prising that " Ormonde's peace" should be re- 
ceived in Limerick or elsewhere with such marked disapproval, not only by 
the Bishop and clergy, but by the citizens at large, who resolved to show 
their hostility in the most emphatic manner in reference to it, were it not that 
there was no confidence in the noble family of the Butlers, or in their 
designs or doings. That Lord Ormond had been playing a double part in 
order to save his own enormous possessions, was suspected ; it has since 
been made quite plain. When on the 12th of May, 1535, the Lord Butler 
was created Viscount Thurles and Admii'al of Ireland, and on the 21st of 
May, with his father, the Earl of Ossory, was made Governor of the Counties 
of Kilkenny, Waterford, and Tipperary, and the Territories of Ossory and 
Ormond, they promised to do their utmost to recover the Castle of Dungar- 
van, and " resist the usurpation of the Church of Rome," the first engage- 
ment on record to that effect.' Their reward was great — many abbey lands 

' Cox states that the Herald's name was Henry King. The anniversary of the day of this occur- 
rence was for many years called Stony Thursday, from the quantity of stones that were thrown. 

2 Billing's Fragmentum Historiciun. 

3 Clanrickarde's Memoirs. 


and rich abbeys fell into their possession, having been wrested from being a 
proAQsion and dependence of the Church, The Holy Cross of Tipperary was 
not the least among the number ; and others of the same kind, as well in 
Tipperary, as in Waterford, Carlow, and Kilkenny, — and in numbers so great 
that a natural son of the House of Butler had an entire abbey for his share, 
by grant from his father. Orraond, therefore, had powerful motives of his 
OAvn, to oppose, not only the Catholic clergy, who hoped to be restored to 
their properties, or at least to a part of them, but the Irish party, who 
seconded the exertions, and sympathised with the cause of the clergy. No 
one did more to sow dissensions in the councils of the Confederates — and 
this was known so well by the usurping Parliament that they never exerted 
the rigor towards him which most of the loyal cavaliers felt at their hands.* 
Dominick Fanning and Father Wolfe only gave expression to the universal 
feeling with which people and priests viewed the conduct of Ormond, and 
this is the key to the excesses which Carte exclaims against it, as it is to the 
justice of the course taken by those in Limerick who resisted Ormondes 
peace. These events were speedily followed by other manifestations, which 
showed the undercurrent that existed against the Nuncio, who was never in 
favor with that influential portion of the Catholics who in secret sided with 
Ormond, and who cared for nothing but their o^vn security and aggrandise- 
ment. A long hst of charges was preferred against Einuccini, to which he 
afterwards rephed.^ But though the peace was solemnly proclaimed in 
Dublin on the 30th of July, 1646, he adhered to his determination, 
and, after further negociations, Owen Eoe O'Neil was appointed commander- 
in-chief of that portion of the Irish army which remained true to the cause 
of the Nuncio. Whilst Einuccini was in Limerick, Ptichard Arthur, Bishop 
of the diocese, who so deeply sympathised with the Confederates, died. 
He was a native of Limerick ; and the Nuncio, to whose interest he was de- 
votedly attached, and who bestowed high praise on hun attended his funeral. 
Events now plainly indicated what was to follow soon afterwards. The 
battle of Daugau Hill took place, and the Confederate army was defeated 
with great slaughter — a disaster at which Billing appears to rejoice, calling 
it "a judgement on the Irish for their perfidious breach of the peace." ^ 
Castlehaven also professes to look upon the reverse in the same light, and 
alleges that the Confederates began to be as tired of the Nuncio as Inchiquin 
was of the Parliament.* Inchicpiin, who had ingratiated himself into the 
favor of the army, now marched out in the begimmig of August, took Cahir 
castle by storm,^ proceeded to Cashel, where the terrified citizens, throwing 

' Clanrickarde's JSIemoirs. 

* His replj' is given in the Supplement of the Hibernia Domnicana. 

3 According to Cox, volumes of scandal, reproaches, &c., were written against Ormond by the 
Nuncio's partj- and the confederates. He alludes most probably to Dr. French's Bleeding Iphegenia 
and his Unkinde Desertor of Loyale men. 

* Castlehavea's Memoirs. 

* Letters were this day read in the house from the Lord Inchiquin, giving accompt of the 
taking of 12 Castles in the County of Typerare, and the Town and Castle of Cahir, which was 
thus taken ; his Lordship passing over the Shewor at Cahir, one of his Troopers plundering neer 
the Town, was discovered wounded and taken, and Col. Ilopsley in a disguise was admitted to go 
into the Castle to dresse hiui, who before had discovered some defects in the outward Bawn, and 
timorousnesse of the AVarders. The Colonell after led on a party to storme, and took that 
Bawn, and some out Turrets, and within few hours had the Castle surrendred, on quarter only 
for life, above 20,0001. of come burnt in that country, the Castle (qy. Cattle) drove away, so 
that our souldiers made hard shift for victualls. From Cahir his Lordship marched Septemb. 
12, to the City of Cashiell, formerly the Metropolitan of the Province ; where the Inhabitants, 
(amazed at the reducing of Cahir) left open the gates and fled to the Cathedrall a large and 


wide their gates, repaired to the cathedral for protection — where, under the 
shadow of the temple, venerable with the hoar of ages, and consecrated bj 
the hoHest memories to the highest services of patriotism and religion, 
Murrough O'Brien, debasing a name hitherto so highly honored, perpetrated 
the savage atrocity which will be for ever associated with his memory. 
In a portion of the building, which is to be seen at this day, a monument 
of his refined cruelty, Murrough " of the burnings,'''' after having shaken 
the waUs^ with the thunder of his guns, in despair of obtaining an 
entrance, had recourse to the horrible expedient of piling up a quantity 
of turf against the outward wall, and to this he applied fire, by the 
action of which the rehgious and other people who were crowded inside, 
were absolutely baked to death.^ Upwards of thirty priests and friars 
fell victims to the atrocious Inchiquin on this ever-memorable occasion- 
Flushed with these victories, as no doubt he called them, he defeated 
the Irish army under Lord Taaflfe at Knockinglass, near Kanturk, where 
there was also a terrible slaughter. Inchiquin then led his army into the 
county of Limerick. In a short time he brought the whole province of 
Munster, the cities of Limerick and Waterford, the towns of Clonmel and 
Kilmallock, under contribution. He proceeded to the county of Killcenny, 
where he took Callan, and having some of the baronies in that county made 
tributary, a part of his cavalry marched within musket shot of the city of 
Kilkenny, where he succeeded so far that he paralysed the council of the 
Confederates. It is not surprisuig that the Nuncio should feel intensely this 
state of affairs, which was principally brought about by the jealousies, the 
disimions, the envy, it may be added the treasons, of certain of the Catholic 
party, and that he should express himself in terms of extreme bitterness 
and reproach, to the Holy Eather.^ These losses, fearful in extent and sig- 
nificance, would be sufficient to make aU parties in the Confederation, includ- 
ing the most Irish and inflexible, to seek for peace, if it could be had with 
honour; but the Parhamentarians had now so far succeeded in England that 
the King had become a prisoner in the Isle of Wight, and there was no 
access to him. The Confederate council, which had already removed from 
Limerick to Kilkenny, sent Lord Antrim, Lord Muskerry, and Geofirey 
Browne, Esq., to France, to see the Queen of England and the Prince, in 
order to make them acquainted with the gloomy state of affairs. Dr. Ersnch, 
Bishop of Perns, and Nicholas Plunkett, Esq., were sent to Eome to nego- 
ciate for assistance. An ambassador was sent to Spain for the same object. 
Meantime, whilst these active negociations were proceeding, the citizens of 
Limerick were improving and strengthening the city, fortifying the out works, 

spacious pile, seated upon a Eock, fully manned, his Lordship intends to endeavour the reducing 
of it, then to fall upon Fethard, and from thence to Clonmell. The Gentry in the Countrey 
desire to be admitted to a contribution, and his Lordship desires supplies from his souldiers from 
hence. — From a Perfect Drurnall of soine Passages in Parliament, from Munday, 27 Septemb. till 
Munday the 3 of October, 1 647. 

' The portion of the Cathedral which Inchiquin struck with his cannon did not fall, though a 
breach was made, till 1848, when it came down with a terrible crash. 

* The black marks of the fire are to be seen to this day. 

' Nunr.iatura. 



and preparing for the emergency. The north gate of St. Francis's Abbey 
was finished^ and bore this inscription : — 


The Catholics continued to hold possession of the city. Einuccini had 
given directions for the resumption of the Divine service and ceremonies in 
their olden pomp and splendor, in St. Mary's Cathedral, to which he appointed 
the seculars and regulars, preachers on days specially set forth.^ Cathohc 
rectors were in the receipt of their rents and dues.^ It was essential, under 
the circumstances, that they should not only show their sympathy, but that 
every prompt and decisive means should be adopted to place the city in a 
becoming state of defence. Affairs, however, outside, were hurrying with 
rapid strides to a disastrous issue. The Nuncio, who had been making won- 
derful exertions to sustain the old party of the country, to encourage the 
timid, to fortify the wavering, to infuse life into the councils of the Confe- 
derates, discovered that all his exertions were of no avail. Those who had 
appeared willing to accept his proposals were among the first to betray him. 
He found himself in a city — Kilkenny — where he had seen three hundred 
armed horsemen enter at the command of Lord Mountgarret, where the 
dominion of ill-intentioned persons would, in a few days, have joined hands 
with an army which was his declared enemy. 

It was stated^ that the commissioners of the council at Kilkenny had 
agreed to send letters to Prince Charles, to the effect that if he came to them, 
he should be proclaimed King of Ireland, and ratify the agreement between 
the council and Ormond, they would join with him against England, the 
Prince still making good all engagements to them by the latter and his 
agents. The council, it was further stated, Ormond being present, ordered 
that a squadron of ships, part of Prince Rupert's Pleet, and part of the Irish, 
should be sent to block up the Bay of Dublin, to hinder provisions from 
coming thither by water, and that all the forces they could spare out of gar- 
risons should march into the field into Leinster, to a general rendevous 
within sixteen miles of Dublin. 

Everything conspired to compel the Nuncio to make a hasty retreat — he 
had lost, among others, the wise advice of his friend Richard Arthur, the 
Bishop of Limerick, whose obsequies he had attended. He left Kilkenny, to 

' See Ecclesiastical portion of this History. 

2 " The lease made unto me by Andrew Creagh Maior of Lymerick and Francis Gongh, Bp. 
of Lymerick, and Thomas Dunnohow Rector of St. Laurence, of the Tenement or waste Messuage 
in Mongrett-street, belonging to that Rectorie, was dated 20° die Junii anno Domini 1632, the 
rent reserved thereout to the Rector is tife shillings 3-earely by even portions, which was duely 
payed by James IMahowne in mj absence yearely until Jlicliaelmas 1644, since then myself payed 
the same to the Catholique Rectors, as appeareth by their several Acquittances, the last whereof 
beareth date the 17th of November, 1049." — Arthur MSS. 

It further appears from p. 100 of Arthur MSS. that this rectory of St. Laurence was in the 
patronage of the Corporation. Dr. Arthur states that at this time, 1648, he attended the Right 
Rev. Dr. James Moloney, Bishop of Killaloe, for an old fracture, which was not cared for pre- 
viously, the bad effects of which had been going on for nine months, and which turned into 
gangrene. He saj's he was paid his fee of £1, probably the ordinary fee of that daj-. 

3 From a perfect Diuniall of some passag-.'S in Parliament, from Mundav 12th March till 
Munday 19th March, U;4S. 


the terror and consternation of those who had heard of his sudden departure, 
many of whom expressed a belief that it was his intention to move O^Neil 
against them ; but O'Neil at this time had not six hundred soldiers, and 
before he could collect the remainder of his army together, the conspirators 
were aware that the forces of Preston would have arrived in Kilkenny before 
him. He thus escaped arrest, and the confiscation of the money which he yet 
had with him, and resolved to proceed to Galway, which had shown a strong 
affection for the cause, and be near the sea to take shipping for Prance on 
the very first moment. He reached Maryborough in his route, where he met 
Don Eugene, and several of the Bishops, who took council as to the imminent 
danger in which he was at the moment, surrounded by Prestou^s army, which 
was deemed ten thousand strong. i The Bishops begged of him, on their 
bended knees, not to abandon the country in the emergency — that if he had 
no regard for his own honour, he should for that of the Holy See, of which 
it would be said with eternal shame in Ireland, that after having sent suc- 
cours in religion, the Irish gave nothing but empty shadows. He saw that 
things had come to the worst — that delay was only a danger. However, 
after several inter^aews, he came to the resolution on the 27th of May, to- 
gether with the sub-delegated Bishops, of publishing an excommunication 
against the accompKces and adherents of the truce, and of interdicting the 
cities where it would be received. In an instant 2000 soldiers passed from 
the side of Preston to O'Neil. This bold step saved the cause, for the time, 
from utter annihilation. Seventeen of the Bishops were for the censures, 
eight were against them. The religious orders were divided in the same 
proportion ; the Dominicans, with only one exception, and the Franciscans, 
without an exception, concurred with the Nuncio. Preston, taking advan- 
tage of the disagreement among the Bishops, stated that the excommunication 
did not affect liim. Disunion, desertion, treachery, and above all, the over- 
whelming influence of Ormond even on the Bishops, who otherwise felt for 
the cause,2 forced the Nuncio to adhere to his determination of abandoning 
the country. With good guides he was conducted in safety to the confines 
of Connaught, and remained in the house of Mr. Terence Coughlan, of whom 
he speaks in the warmest terms of praise, as a man, who having joined neither 
side, in these disastrous times, was confided in generally, and had a singular 
affection for the CathoHc religion, which he showed by Ins enthusiastic 
reception of the Nuncio. Coughlan heard one evening that Preston was to 
pass the following day, in order to unite with the troops of Viscount Dillon, 
and he immediately acquainted the Nuncio with the fact ; nor was he less 
prompt in at once departing, than Coughlan in advising him to the step. 
He was conducted that night to a strong place on the river side ; and in his 
journey he did not refrain from admiring the tAvihght of these northern 
nights, which irradiated the whole horizon, and gave light to their footsteps.^ 
Prom that place he went by water to Athlone, and from thence at last to 
Galway, from whence he could not at the time depart, and where directions 
were sent by the Ormondists to deprive him of the very necessaries of life. 
His vouchers and papers, which had remained with the Dean of Permo, in 
Kilkenuy, had been already seized, so that he could not show what money 
he had expended. The Bishops who adhered to him were threatened with 
the loss of their churches and benefices. Several were most severely dealt 
with. Don Eugene, for not uniting with Inchiquin, was declared to have 

' The Nuncio in his report to the Holv Father states that this was an exaggeration. 
» Nunziatura. " 3 Jbia. 


brokeii the coiiiedemtion, was pronounced a rebel, and guilty of high treason. 
The effects and property of the Nuncio were taken possession of, and sold by 
auction in Kilkenny. The Nuncio was in want of a ship. The San Pietro 
lay at Duncaimon Fort, which had ever been true to the cause of the Nuncio 
since it fell into the hands of the Catholics two years before, when Preston 
took it, not, however, without the special assistance and valuable help of 
Pather Scarampi. Ultimately, however, the San Pietro was got around the 
coast to Galway, from which he took his departure soon afterwards. 

On the 29th of September, Ormond, who had been some time in France, 
from which he took his departure by Havre-de-Grace, landed at Cork, 
accompanied by Lord Castlehaven and others.^ Lord Inchiquin went to Cork 
to meet and welcome him. Slowly advancing towards his noble palace at 
Carrick-on-Suir, — a palace which to this day, even in its decay, shows what it 
had been in its olden splendour, — he gave it to be understood by every one 
that he was sent by the Queen in order to fuid a means of settling the affairs 
of Ireland. In Carrick-on-Suir he received a solemn embassy from the 
Assembly of Kilkenny, at the head of which was the Archbishop of Tuam," 
standard-bearer to all those who, forgetful of their duty to the Holy See, 
employ their hands in every act of sacrilegious violence,^ and that person, 
above all, who had promised the Nuncio that he never would consent to the 
re-establishment of the Marquis.'* On the 6th of October he published a 
declaration upon his arrival in Ireland, in which there is the passage : — " We 
profess and declare, first, to improve our utmost endeavours for the settle- 
ment of the Protestant Eeligion, according to the example of the best 
reformed churches — secondly, to defend the King in his prerogatives. ■'■'^ The 
city of Limerick, which was applied to for money, to meet the exigencies of 
the Irish army, pleaded inabihty, and offered only £100.^ The four distinct 
interests in the kingdom, continuing to remain irreconcilable, viz. the King's, 
the Presbyterians', the Supreme Council's, and Owen Eoe O'Neil's, the Par- 
liament, on the 28th of March, solemnly resolved that Oliver Cromwell should 
be constituted General of all their forces then in Ireland, and that he should 
be sent thither. Cromwell, accordingly, prepared for the expedition with the 
greatest diligence.' 

* The Lord of Ormond is at last landed, beyond all expectation ; and for his better welcome 
hath brought over with him 4000 Armes, and 500 Curassiers' Arms, part of that supply 
designed for the Scots' armey in England by the Lord Jermin, and those in France ; hee hath not 
brought above 50 Cavaliers, and yet enough to put this poor kingdom into more troubles, and 
make it the seat of their malice, where it can have no vent in England. Wee are in exceeding 
want of men and monej-, without which wee can do nothing, unless it be to sculk out a little, 
and perhaps snatch away a garrison, and so return. The Bogg of Allen was taken rather by 
courtship than foul, at the armies last march. — Moderate Intelligencer, from October 12 to Oct. 19, 

* The Archbishop of Tuam in his escape from Kilkenny, on his way to Tnam, was killed by 
the Scotch at Sligo. He had a document on his person which gave an account of the monies 
brought to Ireland by the Nuncio, and how they were expended. He received from Cardinal 
Barberini 10,000 scudi, from Cardinal Mazzarini 25,000 lire, Tornese ; he also received arms and 
ammunition. The Nuncio also had 15,800 scudi of his own, which he gave in sustainment of 
the cause. — Nunziatura. 

3 Nunziatura. 

* Ibid. 

* Carte's Life of Ormond. 

* Nunziatura. 
7 Cox Hib. Angl. 






CromwelLj having taken the field in 1649;, perpetrated the most revolting 
excesses. The Province of Connaught, however, continued in the hands of 
the Cathohcs, whilst Waterford, Limerick, and Galway, were so strong as to 
be capable of resisting the advances of Ireton, the son-in-law and Heutenant- 
general of Cromwell. These cities, too, hoped for succours from sea, and 
feared no force that could be brought against them. The forts of Duncaunon 
and Sligo, the castles of Athlone, Charlemont, Carlow, and Nenagh, were in 
the hands of the Catholics also. Strength and numbers were of no avail, 
however, without union, and we have seen already how deficient in that 
essential element were the councils of the Cathohc party — parties, we should 
say — for the CathoHcs were split up into contending factions. Ormond 
allowed the Catholics to select a leader in place of CNeil ; the choice fell 
upon M'Mahon, the Catholic Bishop of Clogher, who not only stood high in 
the estimation of Ormond, but possessed great favour with the Ulster Irish. ^ 
M^Mahon saw the necessity of the whole nation uniting together as one man 
for their defence j he laboured so hard with the clergy that he got them to 
enter into a superficial union at least, to bury in forgetfulness all that had 
passed ; to enter into solemn resolutions that for life, fortune, religion, they 
could expect no security from Cromwell ; to express their detestation of all 
animosity between the old Irish and the English and the Scotch Eoyalists, 
and their resolution to punish all the clergy who should encourage them. 
Brave and courageous in his new capacity, but deficient in experience and 
generalship, M'^Mahon was defeated with great loss in a battle at Letterkenny, 
by Sir Charles Coote. Ormond at once cast his eyes on Limerick, " a place 
of the utmost consequence, and which soon would be attempted by the Par- 
liament forces.''^ Having come to Limerick, he endeavoured to persuade the 
citizens to receive fifteen hundred infantry soldiers and three hundred cavalry, 
as the only means of saving the kingdom ; this proposal Avas rejected ; and 
Ormond attributed its rejection to the influence of the clergy. He summoned 
twenty-four of the CathoHc Bishops to attend him at Limerick, that he 
might confer with them and some of the nobility, and resolve, on their advice 
and assistance, on effectual measures for the advancement of the King^s service 
and that of the people. A conference was held, in which the Bishops agreed 
to certain propositions which they presented to Ormond for the removal of 
the discontents ; they required that the Receiver General should account for 
the monies levied since the peace, and that a privy council should be com- 
posed of the native nobility, spiritual and temporal, to assist the Government. 
Ormond consented. The Bishops then published a declaration that they 
would root out of menu's hearts all jealousies and sinister opinions of Ormond 
and the Government, desiring his further directions, and promising, on their 
part, the utmost care and industry. These proceedings partially changed the 
determination of the citizens of Limerick — but events proved that the change 

» Carte. '' 


was not permanent, and that Ormond, as time went on, was not treated with 
even the outward show of civility, on account of his disingenuousness, and 
the efforts he continued to make to induce them to receive a garrison. The 
officers of the city guards neither went to him for orders, nor would they 
take orders from him. Without special leave of the mayor no officer of the 
army was admitted to his presence to receive directions to suppress the Par- 
liamentarians, who at the moment were roaming over the country and in the 
neighbourhood. Lord Kilmallock, a Catholic peer, and officer of the army, 
was committed to gaol for no other reason than that he quartered a few 
horsemen, with Ormond's own orders, within the city. These and other 
reasons worked on him to quit Limerick, and proceed to Loughrea, where 
he was followed by the Bishops, and where he complained that their Lord- 
ships did not treat him in a fair manner. He stated that as soon as he left 
Limerick, the Bishops of Limerick and Eoss waited on Lord Inchiquin, who 
was then in the city ; that they desired Inchiquin not to quit the kingdom, 
stating that he was of an ancient race, and offering him, if he would join 
them, and put off the Commissioners of Trusts, to place all things in his 
hands. Ormond and Incliiquin had held up a constant correspondence ; they 
made these facts known to each other, and concluded, perhaps, with great 
truth, that the Bishops were anxious to obtain a riddance of both.* Nego- 
ciations continued to be pressed. The city seemed to desire Colonel Pierce 
Walsh to be sent to command the militia ; this was done ; they demurred 
about a garrison ; they thought 3000 foot and 300 horse, the numbers 
proposed, too great ; they insisted the garrison should be Ulster men j^ that 
the county of Clare should be set apart entirely for their subsistence and 
pay ; that the city should be charged with no loans or levies on that account ; 
that the troops should be quartered in huts without the walls, and under 
the command of the Bishop of Limerick, Hugh O'jS^eil, or Mortagh O'Brien. 
The jealousy and suspicion of Ormond continued. Dominick Fanning, 
gathering a body of resolute young men, entered a Dutch ship in which the 
Marquis was sending abroad two trunks of papers which he desired to secure, 
and which Fanning supposed was money. When it was found that the 
trunks contained papers only, they desisted ; but they took a solemn oath 
to stand by one another in that action. Sir Nicholas Comyn, mayor, who 
had received knighthood from Ormond, convened the town council, and 
called before him the rioters ; they said they were ignorant that the trunks 
belonged to Ormond, and asked pardon. The mayor compelled them to 
disclaim theu' oath of combination, and to take a new one of obeying the 
Lord Lieutenant, and of doing nothing -udthout license of the magistrates. 
Ormond, to encourage these good inclinations, removed to Clare, quartering 
the troops he had with him (1700 foot and 350 horse) in the neighbourhood, 
with orders to be ready to draw to a rendevouz. He did this the rather be- 
cause Cromwell had at this time sent propositions to Limerick, offering the 
citizens the free exercise of their religion, the enjoyment of their estates, 
churches and church livings, a free trade and commerce, without garrison, 
provided they Avould give a free passage through the city for his forces into 
the county of Clare. ^ While visiting, on the 11th of June, some troops in 
Clare, within four miles of the city, two aldermen, Creagli and Bourke, waited 
on the Marquis, with a request that he would settle a garrison in Limerick. 

' Carte. 

' These, Carte savs, would destroy the troops on foot (it the charge of the Province. 

' Carte's Ormond. 


According to appointment these aldermen met him at the mayor's stone — 
stating the city had accepted his proposals^ with the exception of the guards. 
He sent them back with assurances that the guards he meant to take with 
him, should consist of but 100 foot and 50 horse, all Eoman Catholics, 
such as had constantly been of the Confederacy, and ^yeve interested in all 
the benefits of the articles of the peace.' But when near the city gates, 
the same aldermen came to him, with an account that Father Wolfe, 
the Dominican Friar, who had distinguished himseK before, when peace was 
proclaimed, had raised a tumult in the city to oppose his entrance, and 
having forced or wheedled the keys from Eochfort, the sheriff, had seized 
the gates ; so that it was impossible for him to come until the tumult had 
ended. The same night, Dominick Panning called in Colonel Murtagh 
O'Brien, a man entirely devoted to the old Irish party, whose cause Fanning 
and Wolfe had so zealously espoused, with his regiment increased by 200 
recruits ; but though the mayor opposed his entrance at the gates, they 
forced their way in, seized the corn laid up for the supply of the army, 
which Ormond thought would be at his disposal, and a quantity of corn 
which belonged to Ormond exclusively. Ormond forthwith retired to Shan- 
bally, four miles from the city. The bishop followed liim with a proposal to 
forgive Colonel Murtagh O'Brien, to which he consented, if they submitted 
to his proposals, which not being done, the Commissioners of Trust and the 
Marquis of Clanrickard insisted that the bishop should excommmiicate 
Fanning and O'Brien, which he peremptorily refused. Soon after Ireton 
advanced with his troops towards the city, and threatened to besiege it. 
The magistrates asked Ormond that Hugh O'Neill might be made their 
governor ; he agreed, offering also to put hunself in the city and share the 
fate of the citizens, but they refused, insisting particularly on O'Brien's regi- 
ment, and troops of their oatu choosmg. Being near at hand in Clare, 
Ormond sent orders to the mayor and Hugh O'Neill to seize on Colonel 
O'Brien, and dehver him a prisoner to the guard appointed to receive him. 
The mayor who took a week to consider, answered that the government of 
the city was intrusted to Hugh O'Neill, who wrote in turn to say, that he 
was merely a cypher, not suffered to stir, except as the mayor and toAvn 
council thought fit. Ormond was ready to forgive O'Brien, though hejnsisted 
that he should not hold command; but the citizens would on no account 
admit Ormond inside the walls ; and under these circumstances it was im- 
possible to keep the body of his army together, as to attempt it, except at 
the other side of the Shannon, and near Limerick, with the absolute com- 
mand of the city to secure it, would have been utterly ruinous, and to have 
done it in the county of Clare or north side of the river was impossible, 
since the ground work of the army, must be raised and supported from 
thence; which, whilst forming, would have exhausted all the substance of 
Clare, and not have effected the work*'^ Galway also refused to receive him; 
he was thus shut out from every expected advantage. The dominant men 
in the city, and the clergy, knew him too well, to repose the slightest faith 
in any one of his principles. It was urged by him, that they had received 
proposals and listened to overtures from the Parhamentarians, without his 
consent, or so much as giving him notice. They denied sympathy with the 
Parliamentarians, but he came to the conclusion that his protracted stay in 

' Carte. This correspondence is given at full length in Cox Hib. Angli., but is not of sufficient 
interest to demand more of space than this reference to it. 
» Carte. 


Ireland would tend to no good ; however he resolved to remain until he had 
received the king's directions as to his conduct. Meantime, application was 
being made by the Catholic party to Leopold, goveraor of the Low countries, 
to Spain and to Austria, offering to each, that they would place themselves 
under which ever power granted them protection. Carte states, that they 
knew Ormonde's attachment to the king, for when the Nuncio and the Con- 
federates in the fulness of their strength, offered him the crown of Ireland, 
he rejected it. This, however, by no means agrees with the recorded 
opinion of the Nuncio, to which we have already referred, nor to the estimate 
formed of the character and conduct of Ormond throughout by the 
Catholics. Carte asserts that the Bishops with the full concurrence of the 
Nuncio, and when the Confederates were in the zenith of their power, 
offered Ormond the crown of Ireland, if he would change his rehgion and 
embrace their cause; but that his fidelity to the king prevented him 
accepting any such proposal.' This, however, cannot be proved. Indeed 
the truth appears to be altogether the other way. 

In accordance with this resolution they assembled at Jamestown, in the 
county of Leitrim, on the 6th of August ; and on the 10th, they commis- 
sioned the Bishop of Dromore, and Dr. Charles Kelly, the Dean of Tuam, 
to acquaint him with their desires "that he would speedily quit the kingdom, 
and leave the king's authority in the hands of some persons faithful to his 
Majesty and trusty to the nation, and such as the affections and confidence 
of the people would follow.'' He professed to be astonished at these over- 
tures, but the Bishops intimated to him that instead of his returning a direct 
reply to their letter, they would meet him at Loughrea on the 26th of the 

Ormond went to Loughrea, where the Bishops of Cork and Clonfert 
proceeded to receive his answer to their propositions, which, according to 
Dr. French, Bishop of Ferns, were loyal, dutiful, and moderate. He replied 
in a long letter that he was not wilUng to withdraw out of Ireland, as they 
for the peace of the kingdom and the reconcilement of differences among the 
Cathohcs, expressed a desire that he should do. They told him plainly that the 
people seeing no visible army for their defence, despaired of recovering what 
they had lost or of preserving what remained to them. Finding that they 
could not persuade him to change his resolution or bend to a just view of 
afiairs, on the 15th of December, they published a declaration against the 
continuance of the king's authority in Ormond, and a solemn excommunica- 
tion, by which they dehvered to Satan, all that should oppose or disobey it, 
or feed, or help, or adhere to Ormond by giving him subsidy, contribution or 
intelligence, or by obeying his commands. 

Dr. John O'Moloney, Bishop of Killaloe, was among the Bishops who 
attached his sign manual to this edict ; and well did he pay for his boldness, 
as we shall soon see. The synod of JamestoMn, before their breaking up, 
appointed a committee to act by their authority during the recess; and com- 
missions were given out by this committee for levying soldiers, for which a 
rendevous was fixed at Ballintober. The Bishop of Killaloe had raised a 
troop and appointed a rendevous at Quin. Ormond sent Edward Wogan 
against them; the party was dispersed, the Bishop taken prisoner, and he 
would have been put to death had not Ormond saved him,'^ though he had 
signed and promulgated the excommunication. On this memorable occasion 

' Cart«. ^ Cflrte, 


Ormond laid hands on a sum of money amounting to £1400, whicli the 
Bishop had hidden away in sacks of wool — a circumstance which elicited 
from Dr. Thomas Arthur a pasquinade which reflects no high credit on his 
good taste or judgment.^ 

That Dr. Arthur was well disposed towards Lord Ormond is evident from 
many proofs which have been given from time to time of his sentiments, from 
his practice, as a physician, among those who belonged to the government, &c. 
I find the following memorandum which I translate in evidence of the fact, in 
his MSS. *^ On account of the service rendered to him about the 4th of 
the November, of last year, (1650), when at length on the 21st day of May, 
of this year. His Excellency Lord James Marquis of Ormond, Viceroy of 
king Charles the second in Ireland, was at Loughrea, and I made him aware 
that I received no recompence for my exertions, he decided that I should 
immediately be paid £10 sterling out of the public treasury, which the 
treasurer paid me on the next day.'''' 

Well indeed may Dr. Prench designate Ormond, " an unkinde deserter of 
loyal friends.'" Even the king from his retreat in Scotland, sent him a letter 
in which he expressed regret that a better understanding did not prevail 
between him and the Nuncio ; but this letter, which had been brought to 
Waterford by Captain Eoche, Avas not delivered until it was too late, as 
Colonel Eoche alleged, o"wing to the state of the country between Limerick and 
that city. The Bishops and Clergy were not supported by the forces they 
expected from a distance, which Carte attributes to the refractoriness of the 
Prelates, rather than to the successes of the Cromwellians. A second letter 
to the same end and purpose was sent by John King, the Dean of Tuam, 
who arrived from Scotland on the 13th of August, 1650; it conveyed to 
Ormond irresistible confirmation of the truth, but the fact is, notwithstand- 

• " The clergy of Ireland (says Dr. Arthur) being weary of the unlucky administration of Lord 
James Marquis of Ormond, Viceroy of Charles II. in Ireland ; and suspecting him of being 
too favourable to the party of their enemies, whom by his supine neglect he permitted to invade 
three provinces of the kingdom, and to take all the strongest cities, towns, and fortresses, and 
to overrun the country at pleasure with impunity ; at last, having assembled a genuine provincial 
synod, one held at Clonmacnoise, the other at James' town, they determined to withdraw forth- 
with, all the orthodox subjects from their fealty and obedience to him having signed a public 
edict [to this effect] enforced by the threat of excommunication. Whereupon the Marquis, being 
thereby filled with indignation, having caught the Lord Bishop of Killaloe, John O'Molouna, an 
economical and thrifty man, who had signed that edict, and who, he had heard, had a largo 
treasure at home ; while staying in a certain castle in the neighbourhood, he dispatched some 
English spies, followers of his own, who seized upon him and upon £1400 sterling, which he had 
wrapped up in large woolsacks, and placed him before his judgment seat ; after committing him 
to custody, and thus making him pay the penalty of his own rashness and that of others, at 
last, after one or two months upon his asking pardon he let him go ; having in the meantime 
allocated all the money to the King's army. In reference to which I wrote the following verses." 
— Which verses we may add, with every respect for the worthy Doctor's memory, by no means 
reflect credit upon his muse, as will appear from the following translation, in which it will be seen 
we rigidly observe the critical canon of rising and falling with the original : — 

" A cool fourteen hundred the bishop had hoarded, 

And in fleeces or woolsacks ingeniously stored it 

But alas for the beauty and charm of my story, 

The wool had a smell, being sweaty and gory — 

And the wolf smelled the blood of the sheep on the scrapingJ!, 

And bolted at once with the trifle of ha'pence. 

*' 'Twas the cursed greed of gold made the bishop to save so, 
'Twas the cursed greed of food made the wolf misbehave sio — ■ 
Had the bishop discharged his episcopal duty, 
My lord had no bl-sme and the robber no booty." 


iiig the assertion of Father Peter Walshe, who compared Ormond to Joseph 
in Egypt, Ormondes determination to desert and to betray the Catholics, is 
indisputable, as he proved under his own hand in a letter to Lord Orrery. — 
Ormond now resolved to remain no longer in Ireland. On the 11th of 
December he set sail, and landed in Bas Bretagne three weeks afterwards, 
the weather being stormy. He took with him, in his little frigate, which was 
provided by the Duke of York, Lord Inchiquin, Colonel Wogan and forty 
other officers, besides several passengers, Sir George Hamilton, Receiver 
General, Mr. Belling, Lady Clanrickarde and other persons of quality who 
went to France afterwards. He ai3pointed Lord Clanrickarde his Deputy.' 
Notwithstanding the occurrences at Jamestown and Clonmacnoise, where 
Dr. French thuiks a zeal, more unseasonable than prudent was manifested, 
but which was corrected afterwards by a general assembly of the Clergy at 
Loughrea, where the nobility and gentry of the kingdom had met,^ when 
advantageous proposals from Cromwell's agents being unanimously rejected 
by the confederates, the country remained loyal to the monarch, and resolved 
to stand or to fall with his destinies. The result proved that their confidence 
was misplaced. 

The events which followed in rapid succession, left the kingdom an easy 
prey to Cromwell. Notwithstanding the efforts of Edmond Dwyer, Bishop 
of Limerick, who manifested great address and talent for public affairs, and 
who wrote a powerful document in defence of the position he sustained,^ 
and those of the Bishops who continued to struggle against the tide which 
threatened every moment to overwhelm them, there was alas ! a faction in 
the country which still adhering to Ormond, gave such aid by their di^dsions 
to Ireton as enabled him in a very short time to prove the danger of divided 
councils. Limerick contained a party of Catholics who not only did not 
provide for the emergency, but which painted honester men than themselves 
in odious colours, and informed his excellency secretly that they were to be 
suspected and feared ! It was those who spoke in this way of others that 
would in reahty become traitors, and those they woidd cover with suspicion, 
proved honest men, true to God, to country, to king.'* Cromwell at this 
period had perpetrated the bloody massacres of Drogheda and Wexford, and 
had made his name a terror to the entire people of Ireland. 

' Ormond having appointed Clanrickard to command in his absence, as the King's Deputy, 
to whom the nation showed all due obedience and submission, is a manifest argument that he was 
not banished out of the kingdom by the confederate Catholics, for whom he named a commander 
in his absence. — Bleeding Iphegenia, p. 111. 

2 Bleeding Iphegenia, p. 111. 8 Hibernia Dominicana. 

* Dr. French, Bishop of Ferns. 






Ireton, having now made all provisions for an early campaign^ and 
received some reinforcements from England^ resolved to begin by besieging 
Limerick. Sir Cbarles Coote was directed to advance towards Sligo^ in order 
to pierce into Connanght, that Limerick migbt be invested on all sides. ^ 
The Irish were preparing to relieve the city, when Coote_, drawing off his men, 
passed suddenly over the Curlew mountains, and invested Athlone. Clanri- 
karde was unable to make head against Coote, who took Athlone, and marched 
against Galway. The Earl of Castlehaven was called to the assistance of 
Galway, and he had marched but a few miles, at the head of four thousand 
men, when a party he had left to defend the pass over the Shannon, suffered 
themselves to be overpowered by the enemy, and fled precipitately — but we 
anticipate events. 

O^Neil was now appointed Governor of Limerick, and he did his duty with 
a courage and true nobility of soul which brooked no compromise. Sh Geofirey 
Galway, the son of him who had been persecuted in the days of Queen 
Ehzabeth ; Geoffry Barron, whom French calls an ornament to his country ; 
Alderman Domhiick Panning, Alderman Thomas Stritch, Dr. Higg-ins, and 
many others of the citizens, held counsel within, and would listen to no over- 
ture that came from Ireton or his partizans. There was no one more 
prominent than Terence Albert O'Brien, Bishop of Emly, in preparing the 
citizens and soldiers for the storm, and in urging them to leave nothing 
undone to conquer Ireton and his merciless mjTmidons. They were nobly 
seconded by the indomitable Dominick Fanning, the zealous Father Wolfe, 
who had prevented the city accepting Ormondes peace, by General Purcell, 
and others. 

For some months past Ireton had been putting all tilings in readiness for 
his army ; tents, arms, beds for the soldiers, cannon, ammunition of every 
sort, were sent up the Shannon by him towards Limerick, by vessels provided 
for the service. Garrisons had already, since the previous March, been 
placed in the castles of Castle Connell and at KHmallock, convenient outposts 
for strategetic purposes ; other places were likewise invested or blockaded. 
The Parliamentary army was ordered to rendevouz at Cashel, from whence 
Ireton marched by way of Nenagh, down by the Silver Mines, and across 
the roads to that part of the Shannon which flows opposite Killaloe. 
The Earl of Castlehaven, who had been before this time appointed, by Ormond, 
commander-in-chief of the province of Muuster and the coimty of Clare, now 
held that office for the whole kingdom, marched with what forces he could draw 
together, and encamped at Killaloe, to observe Ireton's movements. Ireton 
was thoroughly aware of the weakness of the confederate forces, feeling 
assured that they only kept up appearances till Cromwell and King Charles 
had decided their quarrel. He kept a guard on his side of the river, as 
Castlehaven did against him.' 

' Carte. 2 The Unkind Deieiter. 

* Ludlow's Memoirs and Castlehaven's Memoirs. 


The antagonist troops lay in tliat position together for some time ; Castle- 
haven had 2000 horse and foot disposed along the river^ and defended by 
breastworks^ which had been placed there to obstruct Ireton's passage into 
Connaught. Ormond^ who had not yet sailed from Galway, wrote " post haste" 
to Castlehaven to proceed to him, because Stephen De Henin the abbot of St. 
Catherine was in the harbour, and in his company many officers, with a quantity 
of arms, ammunition, and other materials of war, which were sent by the Duke 
of Lorraine, to whom the city of Limerick was mortgaged, and assigned as a 
security for £20,000 supplied by him for the King's service. The Duke was 
to be constituted protector royal of the kingdom of Ireland, with power over 
all the Confederate forces and places, with that title and dominion, till the 
war was over and his damages satisfied — a regular agreement having been 
entered into for that purpose. ^ On Castlehaven's almost immediate return, 
he found all quiet at KUlaloe ; treachery had done its work, the pass had 
been sold. He was not aware of how the dark deed had been done ; but he 
received from Ireton, by a trumpeter, a letter which occupied four sides of 
paper, closely written in a small hand, the drift of which was to set forth " the 
justness'"" of the Parliament's proceedings ; their great power ; how short a time 
he (Castlehaven) would subsist ; what bad company he was in; abusing the King 
most heartily, and after several other sayings, offering Castlehaven, if he would 
retire and live in England, not only his personal safety and the enjoyment of 
his estate, but the esteem and favor of the Parliament. Castlehaven showed 
the letter to Father Peter Walsh, who appears to have been with him at the 
time ; and by his advice, and by the same trumpeter, he answered every 
point, rejected the proposition, and desired that no more trumpeters should 
be sent with such errands. 

Ireton, soon after this correspondence, by the treachery of Captain Kelly, 
made himseK master of O'Brien's Bridge ; and whilst Castlehaven was hasten- 
ing to oppose him. Colonel Fennel, to whom the pass at Killaloe had been 
entrusted, treacherously deserted it, and fled into the city of Limerick with 
his soldiery — he had sold the pass. Just before this event, as if he had 
intended to divert the course of the river, Ireton had set the soldiers and 
pioneers at work to take the ground lower on his (Ireton's) side, that the 
water venting itseK into the passage, the river might become fordable. This 
so alarmed the Confederate forces that the most of them were drawn out to 
oppose them. The ways were almost impassable from bogs and morasses, 
hither neither man nor horse could pass without peril, so that they were 
obHged to lay hurdles and great pieces of timber across, in order to bear the 
carriages, waggons, &c., of the Parliamentary forces, which they effected 
under pretence of making a passable road between their camp and Castle 
Connel, where, as we have seen, provisions had been already laid up for the 

' Charles II. in a letter addressed to the Duke from Paris, and dated Feb. 6th, 1652, thanks 
him for the supplies sent to the Irish, and promises to send persons to enter into a treaty with 
him for the promotion of the Catholic interests. In another letter addressed to Clanrickarde, and 
dated March 23rd, 1652, his Majesty says that he had sent the Earl of Norwich to Brussels, to 
treat with the Duke, the terms of whose articles with the Irish, he says, Clanrickarde had pro- 
perly rejected. But he recommends the Irish Commissioners (Lord Taaffe, Sir Nicholas Plunket, 
and Jeoffry Baron) to the Marquis, and bids him use their advice and service as theretofore. 
Galway was joined with Limerick in this treaty. The submission to the Pope, suggested by the 
Bishop of Ferns and the Royal Protectorship, appears to have been the most objectionable con- 
dition in the articles in the ej'es of Clanrickarde and the King. Clanrickarde had allowed the 
Duke to advance the £20,000 on the security of Limerick and Galway, leaving the article 
respecting the Protectorship to be settled at Brussels ; but the deputation sent to Brussels, con- 
cluding a treaty, against which Clanrickarde protested, the ni'gociation came to an end. 


army. Ten days had elapsed before all things necessary had been accom- 
plished j and at the end of that time. Colonel Reeves was commanded to 
bring three boats which he had, to a place appointed for that purpose by one 
o''clock in the morning. At the beginning of the night three regiments of 
foot, with one of horse, and four pieces of cannon, marched silently towards 
the place where the boats were ordered to lie, and arrived there an hour 
before day. They found but two boats waiting for them, which, however, 
served to carry over three files of musqueteers and six troopers, who, having 
unsaddled their horses, caused them to swim by the boat, and were safely 
landed on the other side. Two sentinels of the Confederate forces were in 
the castle, of whom one was killed, and the other made his escape. 

Ireton^'s boats had transported about sixty foot and twenty horse before 
any opposition was given; but then some Confederate horse coming up 
skirmished with Ireton's ; and in this action a young ojfficer named Howe, 
who had accompanied General Ludlow, one of Ireton^s chief officers, into 
Ireland, highly distinguished himseK. About 1000 of the Confederate 
foot now advanced ; Ireton^s horse were ordered to retire; they obeyed with 
some hesitation ; the rapid advance of the Confederates was arrested by the 
guns of the ParKamentariaus, which had been placed on a hiE on their side 
of the river, from which they fired so constantly and so vehemently, that the 
Confederates were forced to retreat under shelter of a rising ground ; and 
not being able to regain what they had lost, to provide against further detri- 
ment by retreating more through the woods into their own quarters. Mean- 
time the Parhamentarian sliips, with all things necessary for a siege, had 
anchored in the river, and only awaited orders to proceed to the desperate 
enterprise in which they had engaged. 

Sir Charles Coote, during these proceedings, was engaged in bloody deeds 
in Connaught, where he besieged Portumna house, the residence of the Earl 
of Clanrickarde, and whom as we have seen, the Earl of Ormond had con- 
stituted his deputy in that province. Ludlow, from whose memoirs we have 
drawn some of these details, in his progress from Connaught to Limerick, 
where his presence in aid of Ireton was essentially demanded, summoned 
Gurtenshegore, a castle near Gort, belonging to Sir Dermot O^Shaughnessy, 
who being at the time in Galway, had left his tenants, some soldiers, and 
Polliot, an Enghshman, to command them, in the castle. Here Ludlow was 
treated, for a time, with utter contempt, the occupants of the castle sound- 
iug their bag-pipes in derision, although fire and faggot, iron bars, pickaxes 
and sledges threatened them. The defenders resisted bravely. A desperate 
engagement ensued, FolUot acting with determined pertinacity — and it was 
not until after severe fighting, the castle was surrendered. Ireton^s army 
marched immediately to Limerick. Pive hundred head of cattle that had 
been taken in Burren, Co. Clare, were driven on, and killed to refresh the 
army, to which Ludlow and his friends now returned, and which had already 
possessed themselves of a fort that stood in the middle of the river Shannon, 
on the great Lax weir, where the ruins of the castle are yet to be seen. A 
small battery of two guns had been erected against the castle ; one of them 
was fii'ed into a room, and breaking the leg of a soldier, so terrified the 
others that betaking themselves to their boats, they abandoned the place — 
which the Parliamentarians perceiving, fired so furiously on them, that aU in 
the boats surrendered, notwithstanding which, some of them were put to the 
sword, by the merciless soldiery, whose hearts were steeled against humanity. 
They perpetrated a cold-blooded slaughter, which Ireton condemned, and 


demanded that tlie matter should be referred to a court martial. This A\a3 
done, and Colonel Tuthill, who commanded, and his captain were cashiered. 
At length the besieging army reached the gates of Limerick, and sat down 
before the walls ; but aware of the strength of the city, and satisfied that it 
was well nigh impregnable, Ireton did not trust to the chances of arms, but 
tried what could be done by further exercise of that treachery, which had 
compelled Fennel to abandon the pass of Ivillaloe, and Kelly that of O^Brien''s 
bridge, acts of treachery which gave an easy march to the Parliamentarians 
within the very shadow of the old walls of Limerick. 

From an entry in Dr. Thomas Arthur^s diary, 23rd June, 1651,' it is 
apparent that the Parliamentarians in their attack on this occasion, made 
good their footing on the King^s Island ; he states that he professionally 
attended Dominick FitzDavid Eice, who nobly and strenuously defended the 
city on the occasion of this invasion of the island by the Parliamentarian 
army, Mr. Rice having received a severe wound, which demanded amputa- 
tion of the lower part of the leg. He also saved the life of Doctor Credanus, 
who was struck by a shell, which lacerated his hands and tendons, and 
threatened gangrene. He gives the names of several who died of the 
pestUence which raged through the city, including in the list the names of 
many distinguished citizens. 

An immediate summons sent in by Ireton for the surrender of the city, 
was promptly rejected, though at the time, famine and pestilence were doing 
their deadly work with a greater facihty, than shot and shell did subsequently. 
At this eventful period Edmund O'Dwyer, Terence Albert O^Brien and all the 
good men and true of the time, were congregated within the plague-stricken 
walls, and with the aid of the Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul who were then 
in Limerick, caused the citizens to be firm. Again the summons was 

Then came the question of a treaty — this was discussed; and six commis- 
sioners were appointed on each side, viz. : for cause of country and faith, 
Major-General Purcell, Mr. Stackpoole, the Recorder, Colonel Butler, Jeffrey 
Barron, who had been one of the supreme council, Mr. Baggot, and Alder- 
man Fanning. The commissioners nominated by Ireton were, Major-General 
Waller, Colonel Cranwell, Major Smith, Adjutant-General Allen, and another.^ 

They all met in a tent between the city and Ireton^'s camp, where for several 
days, they dined together and treated of conditions. But having in the 
meantime got great expectations of relief, either by the successes of the 
king in Scotland, or by the cessation of feuds and discords among the con- 
federates at home, who, if they joined in love, when their enemies joined in 
hate, would be far more able, more numerous and powerful than Ireton's army, 
insisted upon terms which Ireton^s commissioners would not accede to. The 
result was the conference broke up without result, and preparations for the 
siege went on more vigorously than before. A fort, which Ireton had been 
preparing on one side of the city, and called to this day Ireton^s fort, being 
almost finished, and materials being ready for building a bridge to be laid 
over the Shannon, to preserve the communication between the besieging 
forces on each side, a resolution was made by them, to reduce a castle which 
was occupied by the defenders beyond Thomond bridge. To effect this 
object, a battery was erected, and a breach having been made, Ireton 

1 Arthur MSS. p. 78. 

2 Ludlow does not srive tlic name. 


remembering tlie vigor of his troops in the action at Sir Dermot 
O'Shaughnessay's castle, desired that one man should be drawn out of each 
troop to be an example to the foot who Avere selected to storm. This was 
done. Armed with back, breast and head pieces, and furnished wdth hand 
grenades — a Mr. Hackett of the guards having been chosen to lead them 
on — they did not number more than twenty in all — the design succeeded 
beyond expectation — the men having thrown in their grenades, rushed up 
to the breach, entered with Hackett at their head, and were followed by 
those who were ordered to support them. Hackett was successful — the 
place was evacuated ; and the confederate soldiers retired by the bridge into 
the city. The castle was then searched by Ireton ; and four or five barrels 
of powder were found in a vault ready to be fired by a lighted match which 
had been left there to blow up the ParHameutarian soldiers. Ireton having so 
far succeeded, having rewarded Hackett and his men, came to the determina- 
tion of possessing himself of the king^s island, which then as now encom- 
passed by the Abbey river, was a position likely to suit his present purposes, 
and quicken the result of the siege. Boats were prepared, floats sufficient 
to transport three hundred men at once were placed in readiness, and orders 
were given to drop down the river about midnight. 

Three regiments of foot and one of horse were detailed for the service ; the 
first three hundred, which were foot, and commanded by Colonel Walker, 
being landed on the island, rushed up to the breastwork of the defenders 
of Limerick, where they met an unexpectedly warm reception. Such was the 
valour with which they were repelled, that but two or three returned alive to 
Ireton^s camp to tell the tale of ruin ; the river was strewn with the carcases 
of the slain, who failed even to make good their footing. Then, the bridge 
havmg been finished, Ireton, Avith most part of the army, marched over to 
the other side of the river, Avhere he marked out ground for three bodies of 
men to encamp separately, each to consist of about two thousand, giving 
orders for the fortification of the camp, assigning to each regiment its pro- 
portion and position, quartering the troops by brigades in the most convenient 
places he could, either to defend themselves, to reheve each other, or to 
annoy the forces opposed to them. The moment the great fort, on which 
were all the available men he had at his disposal, was finished, he drew ofi" 
all his forces from that side of the river they had been, except a thousand 
foot and about three hundred horse, which he left on the island under the 
command of Sir Hardress Waller, i Nor were the Confederates outside the 

' Sir Hardress Waller — " Waller of Castletown" — belonged to an ancient Kent family which 
bore the shield of the Duke of Orleans pendent from their family crest, in memory of their having 
made that French Prince of the blood prisoner at the battle of Agincourt. To this family Sir 
Williaih Waller, the distinguished Parliamentary General, and Edmund Waller, the well known 
poet, belonged. George Waller, father of Sir Hardress, was its chief (as is now Mr. Waller of 
Castletown), and marrying a daughter of the ancient family of Hardress, who took the opposite 
side to him in the civil wars, and obtained a Baronetcy from Charles I. in 1642 ; lie was father 
of Sir Hardress. This gallant soldier was employed at the taking of Bristol ; and Cromwell 
says, in his dispatch to Speaker Lenthall, describing the successful assault on the nobly defended 
house of Basing, " Sir Hardress Waller, performing his duty ivith honor and diligence, was shot 
in the arm." He afterwards proceeded to Ireland, where he had long before acquired the Castle- 
town estate by marriage with Elizabeth, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Sir John Dowdall, 
knight of Kilfenny. Here he was made Major-General of the Horse, and was M.P. for the 
County of Limerick ; he also acquired large estates in the county by grant, which included 
Lickadoon Castle near Koxborough ; but being one of the judges at the trial of Charles I. he was 
tried for it at the Restoration. He pleaded guilty, and had not only the gift of his life, but 
permission to reside with his family. But all his propertj' was forfeited, and granted with that 
of the other regicides, to the Duke of York, from whom, when King James II., it was again taken 
at the Revolution, and sold in lots to the Hollow Sword Blade Company and other persons. Lady 


walls idle ; they were aware of the vast advantage of retaining Limerick iu 
their possession, and to achieve that object they spared no exertion. Lord 
Muskerry had brought together about 5000 horse and foot in the counties of 
(Jork and Kerry, and David Eoche between two and three thousand men in 
Clare. Lord Broghill and Major Wallis were despatched to oppose Lord 
Muskerry, whilst General Ludlow, with a detachment, was sent to look after 
the other. Broghill encountered Muskerry, and defeated him. Ludlow 
crossed the river at Inchecroghnan, and had some difficulty in preventing 
the pass of that place falling into the hands of Roche's soldiery, who, however, 
retreated, and enabled Ludlow to return to Limerick, after having encoun- 
tered and overcome some severe obstructions before he relieved the garrison 
of Carrigaholt. He at length arrived at Limerick, where considerable 
progress had been made in the works, and where a reinforcement from 
England had landed nearly four thousand foot, to recruit an army which 
had been thinned by the climate, the change in food, the diseases to which 
they were subject, and the casualties of war. 

Ireton, nowithstanding this timely succour to his forces, began to tremble 
for the fate of the campaign. The plague was raging in the city. In 
every street the wild wail of sorrow was heard over the stark corpses of the 
victims of famine and the black sickness, which the want of air, the stench, 
and the awful circumstances of the place had caused. An hospital was 
erected by Ireton outside the walls, while the works was progressing for the 
siege. In the interim he visited KHlaloe, where a garrison lay, and directed 
that a bridge should be built, or rather, we imagine repaired, for the better 
communication of the counties of Tipperary and Clare. Ludlow accom- 
panied him in this duty, and many horses were knocked up by the journey — 
so hard were they driven. The progress of Cromwell's army in England, 
while matters were going on thus in Ireland, was so successful, that he carried 
every thing in the field before him. The intelligence of these victories was 
heard within the city ; but it did not blanch the cheeks, or unnerve the hearts 
of the brave men who had sworn to defend their altars and their hearths with 
the last drop of their blood. It was a weary time for Ireton — a fatal one 
for his army, which ia the gloom and mist of our chmate, were daily dying in 
hundreds of fever and ague, and plague — who were suffering too from 
scarcity of provisions, and also were anxious that the siege should be raised, 
or that some event should occur to draw them out of their alarming difficulties. 

There was no sign of surrender made from within. Ireton could make no 
impression by cannon or by persuasion — ^lie would have left if he could. 
He went with Ludlow into the neighbouring parts of Clare to look after the 
confederate soldiers who were there in numbers, to seek sustenance for his 
wasting army — but he could do nothing. Horses and cattle vanished, as if 
the earth had swallowed them ; men and arms disappeared as if by magic, the 
moment Ireton and Ludlow came near them. While Ireton and Ludlow were 
thus engaged, a sally was made by two thousand foot out of Limerick — so 
suddenly that they almost surprised the body-guard of Ireton ; they were 

Waller, however, whose familj' were of old Irish descent, and had secretlj' favoured the Stuarts 
in the civil war, was not interfered with in the possession of the Castletown estate which she had 
inherited from her ancestors, and which still belongs to her descendants. Her daughters had 
made marriages that gave the family some court influence at this time, and helped to keep his 
Lead on the shoulders of Sir Hardress. Elizabeth, Baroness Shelburne in her own right, married 
the able and powerful Sir William Petty. Bridget married Mr. Cadogan, and was mother of that 
gallant general, the first Earl of Cadogan ; whilst Anne married Sir Henry Ingoldsby, Bart. 
whose conduct in lOGO materinlly assisted iu restoring Charles II. to his father's throno. 


driven back, but a destructive fire was opened upon the Cromwellians from 
the wall, under cover of which the forces that made the sally returned in safety 
within. Sir Hardress Waller endeavoured to persuade the garrison of Clare 
castle to sun-ender, but he was not able. Ludlow who was with him making 
the experiment, returned to the siege, and great numbers of the citizens en- 
deavoured to make their escape from the city, stricken with the plague, and 
spreading it among Ireton'smen. Ireton commanded them to return, threatened 
to shoot any who should attempt to come out for the fature, and caused two 
or three of them to be hanged and others to be whipped back into the city ! 
The daughter of a poor man was among the number he sentenced to 
execution, — with piteous tears and lamentations the poor man desired they 
should spare the daughter and put him to death — but his request was refused. 
The butchers hanged the daughter, and whipped the wretched father back 
into the city ! To add to the horror, a gibbet was raised witliin view of 
the walls ; two persons were executed on it ; they were condemned for some- 
thing else — but they were put to death, to scare others from attempting to 
leave the city. The terrors of this frightful siege cannot be depicted in 
adequate language. Councils became divided withui the walls. Deith 
stalked through the streets, grim and ghastly, whilst the plague-victims lay 
on the foot-paths, spectacles for men to weep over. Ireton received hints that 
the strong were becoming weak — but, in this he was misled. The old Irish 
party remained firm against his advances, and the counsels of Terence O^Brien 
always dissipated doubt in the most alarming phases of the situation. 
The conduct indeed of the Bishop of Emly throughout the siege was of the 
most patriotic, noble and self-sacrificing character. He was offered an 
enormous sum of money — no less than forty thousand golden crowns,^ and 
permission to retire wherever he would out of the kingdom, provided he 
ceased to exhort the people against surrender ; but his heroic soul spumed 
the temptation — he had resolved to fight the good fight and win the 
crown that is promised to the just. When Ireton heard of the stern in- 
flexibility of the bishop, he resolved at once to except him from anmesty, 
and every other condition he proposed to the besieged. He swore too, that 
he would visit with the most woful consequences the citizens if they hesitated 
to bring to him the head of the bishop, together with those of the twenty 
men who had voted against giving the city into his hands. A council 
assembled — a debate ensued. Two hundred ecclesiastics now met, and 
with one voice they proclaimed their determination to interpose between 
Ireton and the twenty he had named for death — but in vain, for all ecclesi- 
astics were excepted. O^Daly throws out a dark hint, which is supposed to 
reflect on some of those who were engaged inside the walls at the time, and 
adds that the witnesses to the circumstances to which he alludes were in 
Lisbon at the moment he wrote. O^Brien offered to give himseK up, so 
that the others should be saved — but his proposal was rejected by the 
ecclesiastics. There were some men, however, not to be trusted ; and they 
were as well known to Ireton as to those who were about to become his 
victims. Fennel was one who held an important post, and who had already 
manifested his treasonable designs. Stackpole, the Eecorder faltered; others of 
the corporation wished there was an end to the siege and its horrors. Ireton 
fomented the divisions that had prevailed so long — he inveighed, by name, 
against the men who were firm, against one whom he called a soldier of fortune, 

' O'Herne quoted in'the Hibernia Dominicana, 

13 " " 


meaniug O'Neill who lie said made a trade of war and did not value the lives 
of the people. Again the waverers demanded terms and compromises. The 
town council met — the meeting was stormy. O'Brien^ Wolfe, Higgins and 
Purcell, Avith those who sympathised with them, cautioned the trembling 
cravens as to what they were about. The Irish had a prophecy that the 
last battle would be at Knocknaclashy, and as it was there that Broghill 
met and defeated Muskerry, a few weeks before, they held to the behef that 
victory would certainly favor the English. Cox remarks how strange a thing 
it was that the " Bridge-Barrels'"' of both armies were accidentally burnt at 
the commencement of the fight — but he adds that the soldiers on both sides 
never fought so bravely and so determinedly, "hacking and hewing with 
their swords, when they had spent their shot." Ireton was filled with joy 
at Broghill's victory, for he, too, felt the effect of the prophecy, though, no 
doubt, he was unwilHng to appear credulous, and he ordered a grand salute 
of three vollies to be fired in his camp in token of so signal a triumph — ■ 
the news of which was brought inside the walls in a very short time. 
However, he had no means of taking the city by assault or storm, or the 
regular process of a siege. The stores were full of provisions, calcu- 
lated to last three months — the energy of the devoted portion of the 
citizens, headed by the bishops and clergy, would hear of no compromise. 
But there were mutinous and clamorous men for a cessation of arms, 
and false traitors, who wanted only the opportunity of handing over, bound 
hand and foot, bishops, clergy, and faithful citizens, to the remorseless 
rage of the tyrant ; but interdicts and excommunications were posted upon 
the cathedral doors and the other churches of the city against those who 
would dare to betray the gates to Ireton. 

So strong an impression was made, by the earnest party inside, that the 
treaty proposed by Ireton in which so many of the princijjal persons were 
excepted as to life, was rejected; and force was again put in requisition. 
The great guns were landed from the ships — other guns were brought from 
adjoining garrisons — a battery was erected against that part of the wall which 
had no earth lining within, no counterscarp, no protection, and that weak 
defence had been also shown to Ireton by some hidden traitor. The battery 
being in order, and the storming regiments told off to their several posts, 
a fire was opened — a breach was soon made — and a parley was beaten. The 
traitor Fennel had already seized on John's gate, and having been supplied with 
powder,* he threatened to give up the post to the enemy unless the garrison 
would consent to capitulate ! When the breach was made, and the parley beat, 
the resolution to surrender the city was taken in the treason for which prepa- 
rations had been made — tlie East gate was delivered up.^ Ludlow states that 
this was the gate of the out-town or Irish-town, which was separated by a river, 

' It is said by Cox that the powder was supplied by Creagh, the Mayor, and that he (Creagh) 
was aware of Fennell's intentions ; but this is not generally credited. 

2 O'Daly states that the events which now impended were foreshadowed by three portentous 
signs which he enumerates: — The first, a most extraordinary phenomenon, witnessed on the 17th 
July, IGol, a little before midnight of the sacred day of St. Alexius ; six weeks had the soldiers 
been fortifying the walls, and repairing the circumvallations ; all was just completed, when, lo ! 
from the eastern side of the mountain which is north of Limerick, tliere arose a lucid globe, 
brighter than the moon and little inferior to the sun, which for two leagues and a half shed a 
vertical light upon the city, and then died into darkness over the camp of the enemy. The 
second was the apparition of the Blessed Mother of God at about three o'clock in the afternoon, 
on the summit of the Church dedicated to her. She was seen by some simple people at work in 
the fields, accompanied by St. Francis and St. Dominick and five other heavenly beings, who 
seemed to follow her to the Convent of the Dominicans and thence to the Church of St. Francis 


with a draw-bridge over it^ from the EngHsh town. Iretou ordered all the 
arms and ammunition to be preserved, and the soldiers who were not of the 
city to be drawn up between it and the Parliamentary army, that such as 
desired might have convoys to conduct them to their respective parties; 
and that those who wished to return to their habitations should have passes to 
that effect. The governor of the city, Hugh O'Neil, met Ireton at the gate, 
where he presented him with the keys of the city and gave orders for the 
marching out of the soldiers who were not townsmen, according to the 
articles. These numbered about 2,500 men, not a few of whom, as they 
were going out, fell down dead of the plague. Several of them also lay 
stark dead and were buried in the church-yard. Ireton was shown the stores 
of arms, ammunition and gunpowder, the quantities of provisions, altogether 
a three months^ supply. The fortifications were also shown — he was pointed 
out everything, and told, at the same time, that nine or ten of those who 
were excepted in the articles, threw themselves on his mercy, and were waiting 
his orders in a house which the governor (O'Neil) named. The illustrious 
Terence Albert O'Brien, bishop of Emly, was taken in the pest-house, where 
Father Wolfe and major-general Purcell were also at the moment. Geoffrey 
Barron and Sir Geoffrey Galway surrendered. Dominick Fanning, the lion- 
hearted, who had at all times bravely withstood whatever was contrary to 
principle and to faith, was taken in the church-yard of St. Francis, where he 
had secreted himself in the tomb of his ancestors^ It is computed that 
5000 people died in the city during the siege of the plague and of sickness, 
but notwithstanding this, the above number of soldiers marched out, and 
there still remained 4000 Irishmen within, capable of bearing arms. 

Two days after the surrender the mayor came to the place of worship (St. 
Mary's cathedral it is supposed) where the court-martial sat, and whether by 
words or actions he gave cause to those present to suspect who he was — he 
was arrested and committed to prison. O'Dwyer, the bishop, made his escape 
— it is alleged, in the dress of a soldier^. At the court-martial, O'Brien, 
the glorious bishop of Emly, and major-general Purcell appeared, and were 
questioned as to what they had to say why they should not suffer death. 
De Burgo gives from O'Heyne, who had been an eye-witness, a fuU account 
of the extraordinary manner in which this saintly prelate met his death'. 

within the walls. O'Daly states that he narrates the circumstances as they were heard by Father 
James Dooly from those who witnessed them. The third was the birth of a monster a few days 
before the surrender of Limerick. This strange object, the mother of which was far from being 
correct, may be thus described : — Out of one trunk grew two bodies having all the members 
complete ; but what astonished every one was that whensoever the two faces indicated friendship 
or hostility, the shoulders of the twain might be observed to retreat, so that they never could 
join in cordial embrace. Father Meehan, the translator of O'Daly, remarks that it is not to be 
■wondered at In such disastrous moments, a people who suffered every thing for religion, should 
conjure up visions, and take omens from a flash of lightning or some iinusual meteoric appear- 
ance. Such has been the case with every people under heaven, particularly in time of war. The 
Puritanism of Parsons and Borlase were not proof against the cawing of crows on the top of 
Dublin Castle in the year 1662. — Meehan's Translation of O'Daly, p. 208. 

' I give this fact on the authority of the writer of " Aphorismical Discovery of Faction" — a 
MS. in Trinity College Library — who throws the whole blame of the surrender of Limerick on 
the treachery and cowardice of Fennell. 

2 Ludlow says that it was understood afterwards that he was of a more peaceable spirit than the 
rest ; and suspicion has been cast on the part he acted throughout. 

3 Father Terence Albert O'Brien, or O'Brian, Master of Sacred Theology, an alumnus of the 
Limerick Convent (of St. Saviour), Prior of the Province of Ireland, elected at Kilkenny in 
1643, as I have said elsewhere, and created in 1644 Bishop of Emly in Munster, under the 
Archbishop of Caehel, after the death of James O'llurley, presently referred to, departejl this 


Piircell fell on his knees, and begged earnestly for his life, but this request 
was denied to him : at his execution, in order to support him, he was held 
up by two of Ireton's musqueteers. Father Wolfe met his death as his life 
declared he would — with spirit and vigour.^ O'Neil and Geoffrey Barron were 

life for a better world an. 1651, being hung at Limerick for his defence of the Catholic faith on 
the vigil of All Saints. Of this truly Apostolic Prelate, -worthy of the golden ages of the Church, 
consulting the brevity prescribed to me, I shall say nothing except what has been stated by his 
contemporaries — to wit, the Eev. the Master General de Marinis, and other Fathers of eminent 
•wisdom members of the general Roman Chapter of 1656, lately referred to, who -write-in its 
transactions to the following effect : — 

" Here (in the province of Ireland) has arisen in prolific maturity a great harvest of those 
•who have suffered grievous torments, especially in our time, for the Catholic faith, — a harvest 
garnered in heaven by handfuls, since out of forty-three convents, which the order possessed in 
this island, not one remains at this day, which the fury of the heretical persecutor has not burned 
or levelled to the ground, or secularised to his own profane uses. To the year 1646 were num- 
bered amongst them 600 fathers, more or less, of wliom perhaps not one-fourth is now left, and, 
that exiled from their native country, the rest being either cut off by the martyrdom of -their 
house, or having met a tedious death after a cruel banishment to the Islands of Barbadoes in 
the new world. 

" Amongst the priors most deserving of first mention, is the most illustrious and reverend Father 
Terence Albert O'Brien, a scion of the renowned stock of the ancient kings of Ireland, who 
having happily completed his studies in the province of Spain, returning to his country, did by 
his example and word wonderfully improve the vineyard of the Lord, having filled with good 
fruit the priorship of his native convent of Limerick twice and that of Lorrah once. As provin- 
cial he attended the General Chapter (Capitulem Genernlissimem) held at Rome in 1644, where 
being honored -with the degree of Master by the new General Master of the order. Brother 
Thomas Turkins, for the merits and zeal which he had intrepidly displayed in defending the 
unity of the order and just reverence for the supreme head, and being a short time afterwards 
appointed by Urban VIII. to the Bishoprick of Emly, he devoted his whole energies to it, so 
that he everywhere constantly united the inviolable maintenance of his order and institute with 
the dignity of a prelate, and everywhere indefatigably aided the church, which at that time was 
ever so much in need of such a head in Ireland, by his authority, counsel, and vigilance. And 
while thus employed, in the year 1651, in the city of Limerick, then pressed with a severe siege 
by Henry Ireton, son-in-law of Cromwell, and a genuine Cromwellian, proconsul (ProcromuUius 
of Ireland) set a noble example of integrity and firmness, for, being tempted privately by the 
above-named leader of the heretics by the offer of 40,000 golden crowns, and free leave to emi- 
grate wherever he might choose, provided only he left the city, magnanimously refused, 
preferring to assist even unto death his Catholic fellow citizens, than to make a figure elsewhere, 
by means of a safe conduct granted by heretics, or to pursue pleasure unmolested. Accordingly, 
when the city was at last taken, being arrested, bound, and dragged to the market place, he 
there gloriously finished his course, on the very day of the vigil of All Saints, being publicly 
executed on the gallows. 

" While he proceeded joyfully to the place of punishment, bowing with a serene countenance to 
the Catholics who inconsolably weeping had flocked around him, he spoke these last words, 
which penetrated the hearts of even the heretics themselves: — 'Preserve the faith,' said he, 
' keep the commandments ; do not complain of God's will, which, if you do, you will possess 
your souls ; and do not weep for me, but pray that, being firm and unbroken amidst this torment 
of death, I may happily finish my course.' The persecutor, Ireton (to whom Albert had expressly 
denounced the approaching vengeance of God), being a short time after dreadfully tortured with 
plague and phrenzy, openly confessed to the officers who stood by him, participators in his 
malice and aggression, that the murder of the innocent bishop was now at last fatal to himself. 
Then, turning his face to the wall, he kept privately muttering to himself, saying, ' I never gave 
the aid of my counsel towards the murder of that bishop ; never, never ; it was the council of 
war did it, it was the work of the council, let themselves look to it,' &c. ; and ' I wish I had 
never seen this popish bishop, or never seen him except at a distance.' Amidst such words, and 
the scourges of conscience, with deep groans, he delivered up his soul to the lower regions. The 
head of the martyr, fixed on a lofty stake, and placed on the top of the King's Fort (Arx Ee^ius) 
■vvas in times long after seen to drop, as it were, still fresh blood, with the face entire, the flesh, 
skin, and hair, in no respect changed, a certificate of incorruption, for the tradition is constant, 
that he lived to the last with virgin purity; so that we may, even from this, conjecture that as 
Virgin, Doctor, Bishop, and Martyr, he is now distinguished in heaven by more than one crown. 
A more lengthened account of his life and conflict shall one day see the light." — Extract translated 
from the Uibernia DomiTiicami, pp. 448-0. 

' In the same year (1651) and in the same city, the R. A. P. Fr. Woulfe, Preacher General, 
a venerable oM man, suffered desth for our Saviour Christ — he had with great sanctity performed 
the duties of Prior in several priorates. Being long since become a confessor of Christ, during 


condemned also, but having been born abroad, O'Neil claimed exemption ; he 
and Barron were heard in their own defence. • O'Neil, who had earned the 
wrath of Ireton for his magnificent defence of Clonmel, stated that the war 
had been long on foot when he came over; that he came on the invitation of his 
countrymen — that he had been always a fair enemy — that he had not encouraged 
resistance when there was no hope of their being able to hold out — and that 
therefore the articles did not apply to him when they condemned those wlio 
stated there should be no surrender. He declared that he faithfully delivered 
up the keys of the city, with all the arms, ammunition and provisions, without 
complaint, and his own person also to Ireton. All this did not appease 
the tyrant, but it moved the other members of the court so much, that 
they voted for his acquittal. 

Again O'Neil was tried, and again sentence of death was passed upon 
him; but Ireton seeing the dissatisfaction of the officers more unequivocally 
expressed, he no longer adhered to his own opinion, and the matter being 
referred again to the consideration of the Court, they, by their third vote con- 
sented to save his life. Geoffrey Barron, having the same questions put to 
him, he stated that it was not just to exclude him from mercy, because he had 
been engaged in the same cause that Ireton pretended to fight for, which was 
for the liberty and religion of his country. Ireton rephed that Ireland being 
a conquered country, England might with justice assert her rights of con- 
quest — that they had been treated by the late government far beyond their 
merit or the rules of reason, notwithstanding which they had barbarously 
murdered all the English who fell into their hands, robbed them of their 
goods, which they had gained by their industry, and taken away the lands 
which they had purchased with their money — that touching the point of 
religion there was a wide difference also between them, they contending for 
their right without imposing their opinions on others — whereas Geoffry 
Barron^'s party were not, as Ireton fiercely alleged, content without compelKng 
aU others to submit to their impositions upon pain of death ! The council of 
war, hearing these statements, adjudged death against Barron, and he was 
sentenced and died ; Fennel also, and four and twenty better men were led to 
the scaffold. 1 Ireton^s death was an acknowledged divine vengeance.^ 
Sir Hardress Waller was now made governor of the city of Limerick. 

a tedious confinement, even to these last times of the persecutions he fulfilled the duties of his 
ministry, with indefatigable zeal, and stoutly opposed himself as a bulwark in defence of the 
authority of the Apostolic See. At length, being arrested at Limerick, about the very time 
of the oblation of the unbloody sacrifice, after some hours, having received sentence of death, 
he was brought into court, and having made a profession of the Catholic faith in the hearing 
of all, he exhorted the faithful to constancy in preserving the faith of their fathers. Placed 
on the upper step of a ladder, and presently about to be thrown off, he cheerfully exclaimed, 
" We have been made a show unto God, angels, and men — to God, may he himself grant, for 
glory — to angels, for joy — to men, for contempt" — after saying which, being immediately hung 
from the gibbet, he breathed his last. — From O'Eeyneh Chronological Eplloc/ue, 

' Castlehaven says that no more than ordinary justice was done in this instance to Fennel! ; 
he adds, " Some say he was carried to Cork, and there pleaded for his defence, not only the 
service he did Ireton in betraying Limerick, but how he had betrayed Castlehaven before Youghal ! 
However, (adds Castlehaven) his judges would not hear him on his merits, but bid him clear 
himself of the murders laid to his charge." No one can regret the fate of Fennell, terrible though 
it was. 

' Ireton was called the " Scribe" from his skill in drawing up declarations, petitions and 
ordinances. His antagonists allow him to be an able, but not a virtuous statesman, indeed he 
appears to have been the most artful, designing and deliberate man of his party. He was buried 
in Henry VII's chapel Westminster, but his bodj', after the restoration, was exhumed, gibbeted 
and burnt at Tyburn. — Noble's Memoirs of the Cromwell Family. 


While the storm raged in all its fury, there were twenty thousand com- 
municants Avithin the walls of Limerick, The Avhole city put on the garb of 
penitential sorrow in order to draw down the blessings of heaven on the 
suffering patriots who braved the bribe, the sword, famine and pestilence. 
Laws were estabhshed by the citizens against cursing and swearing; and 
crime of every kind was banished. • The plague daily felled its victims ; among 
them was O^Dwyer, brother to the bishop, who exposed his life, going among 
the dying poor, with the Yincentian Fathers consoling and reheving them. 
Many, after the surrender, were cruelly massacred, merely for their faith.^ 
Mr. Thomas Stritch, on terminating a spiritual retreat, had been elected 
mayor, and ever after proving himself a devoted friend to Ireland and her 
faith, on receiving the keys of the city he laid them at the feet of the 
Blessed Yirgin's statue, praying her to receive the city under her protection, 
whilst at the same time, as an act of homage, all pubKc guilds marched with 
banners flying to the church. Stritch addressed the assembly, calling on 
them to be faithful to God, to the church, and to the king, and stated his 
readiness to accept the martyr's crown, wliich he received soon afterwards, 
together with three others who had been his companions on the spiritual 
retreat.^ Sir Patrick Purcell, Avho is called by Father Anthony Bruodin, in 
his Bescriptio Regini Hibernm, " the most illustrious Yice-general of all 
Munster, a noble-hearted and most accomph'shed warrior, for in Germany, 
under Ferdinand, acquired an immortal renown, combating against Sweden 
and France.'^ After his execution by the rope his head was cut off, and 
exposed on a stake over St. John's Gate. Geoffi-ey Barron, who was envoy 
to the king of France for the Confederate CathoHcs, was beheaded and 
quartered, after he was hanged. We have already spoken of Dominick 
Fanning. Daniel O'Higgin, M.D., " a wise and pious man,-" who also was 
led to the scaffold, and Father Laurence Walsh is spoken of as having 
likewise suffered.'* 

The disgraceful treaty on which the city was surrendered, is couched in 
these terms : — 

Articles agreed on the 37th day of October, 1651, between Henry Ireton, 
the Deputy General ; and Barth. Stackpoole, Eecorder of Limerick ; Alder- 
man Dominick White ; Nich. Haly, Esq. ; Lieutenant-Colonel Pierce Lacy, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Donough O'Brien, and John Baggot, Esq., Commis- 
sioners on behaK of the Mayor and Inhabitants. 

I. That the city and castle, and all places of strength, be delivered to the 
Deputy General on the 39th instant, by sunset, for the use of the Parlia- 
ment and Commonwealth of England, for performance whereof, the said 
Dominick White, Pierce Lacy, Donough O'Brien, and Nicholas Haly shall 
remain as hostages. 

1 Abelly, p. 212. 

2 AbeUy, p. 218. 

3 We perceive by the diary of Dr. Thomas Arthur, that he attended several respectable 
citizens, including some of his own name, who had been labouring under the plague. We find 
that he attended Colonel Henry Ingoldsby, who fared so well in consequence of these wars, for s 
scorbutic affection, and that he received a fee of £1 on the first occasion and £4 afterwards. 

■* "An ej'e witness to the unheard of cruelties to which the prisoners were subjected," by 
Morison in his Phrenodia lliberna Catholica (Oenoponti 1659) corroborates Bruodin as to these 
facts, many more of which could bo adduced ; so many as to cause St. Vincent de Paul to cry 
out, "that the blood of these martyrs will not be forgotten before God, and sooner or later will 
produce an abundant harvest of Catholicity."* 

♦ Abelly, p. 220. 


II. In consideration of which^ aU persons now in tlie city shall have their 
lives and properties, except the following, who opposed and restrained the 
deluded people from accepting the conditions so often offered to them : — 

Major-General Hugh O'Neil, Governor, 
Major- General PurceU, 
Sir Geoffrey Galway, 
Lieut.-Colonel Lacy, 
Captain George Woulfe, 
Captain-Lieutenant Sexton, 
Edmund O^Dwyer, Bishop of Limerick, 
Terence 0''Brien, Bishop of Emly, 
John Quin, a Dominican Friar, 
Captain Laurence Walsh, a Priest, 
Francis Woulfe, a Friar, 
PMlip Dwyer, a Priest, 
Alderman Dominick Fanning, 
Alderman Thomas Stritch, 
Alderman Jordan Eoche, 
Edmund Eoche, Burgess, 
Sir Richard Everard, 
Dr. Higgin, 

Maurice Baggot, Baggotstown, 
and Geoffry Barron. 
In addition were Evans, a Welsh soldier and another deserter. 

III. All officers, soldiers and other persons in the city, shall have liberty 
to remove themselves, their families and property to any part of Ireland. 

IV. All citizens and inhabitants shall have Uberty to stay in the city, 
untn they get warning to depart. 

V. All persons now in the city, except those mentioned in the third 
article, who desire to live peaceably and submit to the Parliament of Eng- 
land, shall be protected in any part of the kingdom. 

These indeed, were disgraceful articles to submit to, but where the blame 
lies, there let it be for ever branded in characters not to be erased ! 

' Dr. Arthur mentions among those whom he professionally attended soon after the sur- 
render : — 

Edward Pyersy, Quarter-Master General of the horse 

Ditto, 30th November 

Ditto, 7th December 

Ditto, 1st January 
William Skinner 
- I Wallebey 
The above Skinner on several separate occasions afterwards, 

for which he received the same fee each time of ... 
Ensign Burnell 
Colonel Henry Ingoldsby 

The same again ; as the cure being for scorbutic disease 
Ensign Bendame ... ... ... ... ... 

Ensign Browne 

Lieutenant-Colonel John Woodman, wife very ill ... 

Lieutenant Eobert Cooke 

Lady Honora O'Brien, daughter of Henry Earl of Thomond 

Ensign Henry Moorethon 

Ensign Owington 

Major May ... 

Ensign Bently 















10 00 










00 10 







00 10 








The town of Galway fell soon after the surrender of Limerick. Before these 
latter events Ludlow proceeded on an expedition to Clare, with 2000 foot and 
1500 horse/ arriving at Inchegronan, within fifteen miles of Limerick. Clare 
castle and Carrigaholt fell. He returned to Limerick by Burren, " of which it is 
said^' (says Ludlow^), "that it is a country where there is not water enough 
to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, or earth enough to bury him, which 
last is so scarce that the inhabitants steal it from one another, and yet their 
cattle is very fat, for the grass growing on the " turfts" of earth two or three 
feet square, that he between the rocks, which are on limestone, is very sweet 
and nourishing.''^ 

On this occasion Ludlow visited Lemenagh castle,^ and had an interview 
with Lady Honora O'Brien, daughter to the late Earl of Thomond — who, 
being accused of protecting the cattle of the neighbouring people, was 
upbraided by Ireton, who said, " as much a cynic as I am, the tears of this 
woman moved me.'^^ 




We pass for a while from the city and its concerns, to a view of events 
elsewhere. The Parhament of England now began to concert measures for 
'Hhe final settlement and administration of Ireland.'^ Lambert was ap- 
pointed successor to Ireton. Ultimately, however, Lambert resigned, and 
Fleetwood, who had married Ireton's widow, was appointed in his place. 
Two acts relative to Ireland were debated in Parliament — one for the confis- 
cation of all the lands of 'the rebels/ another for adjusting the claims of 
adventurers, i.e. those Englishmen and others who had ventured money 
advances in the war. Among those specially excepted from life and estate, 
the Marquis of Ormond, who was unable to play the double game with the 
Parliamentarians, Lord Inchiquin, Bramhal, the Protestant Bishop of Deny, 
a man peculiarly obnoxious to the republicans, were distinctly named. 

Early in the Spring of 1652, an edict Avas issued that the CathoHc clergy 
should quit the kingdom under capital penalties. By this nefarious enact- 
ment it was decreed, ''that every Romish Priest was deemed guilty of 
rebeUion, and sentenced to be hanged until he was half dead ; then to have 

Lieutenant Mason ... ... ... ... ... 00 10 

Major Whyttle ... ... ... ... ... 00 10 

Lieutenant Baretlirowne (quere Harrington) ... ... 00 8 6 

Lieutenant Dingle ... ... ... ... ... 00 10 

Several similar entries are made in the Diary of Dr. Arthur, respecting his attendance on the 
Parliamentary officers, &c., all of whom appear to have paid him very liberally and punctually, 
and many of whom suffered not only from scurvy, but from cholera morbus, wounds, pestilence, 

1 Ludlow's Memoirs. 

» To this day Lemenagh castle shows that it had been in the days when it was occupied by 
the O'Briens— a truly noble baronial residence. 
' Ludlow's Memoirs. 


his head cut off and his body divided in quarters ; his bowels to be drawn 
out and burnt, and his head fixed upon a pole in some public place. The 
punishment of those who entertained a Priest was by the same enactment, 
confiscation of their goods and chattels, and the ignominious death of the 
gallows.''^ The same fine was set upon the head of a j)riest as upon the 
head of a wolf, (five pounds.) Morrison here quoted, declares that "neither 
the Israelites were more cruelly persecuted by Pharaoh, nor the innocent 
infants by Herod, nor the Christians by Nero, or any of the other Pagan 
tyrants, than were the Eoman Catholics at this fatal juncture." In Limer- 
ick this edict was promulgated by the local governors, who acted on behalf 
of the Commonwealth. So fierce an ukase had a direful effect as might be 
expected, on those CathoKcs who had remained in the city, and who hoped 
they could follow the profession of their faith without hindrance, as long as 
they did not interfere with the progress of the Puritans, who now filled every 
ofiice. Bearing badly the tyrannical mandate, they requested Dr. Arthur, 
whose influence was extensive with those in power, that he would place their 
deplorable case before the authorities in Dublin. They felt sore at heart to 
think that they should be without the ministrations of their Pastors. Dr. 
Arthur states,' that he undertook the duty with zeal and earnestness — he 
does not acquaint us with the result, no doubt he was unsuccessful ; he adds 
however, that he arrived in Dublin on the 6th of Pebruary, that he re- 
mained tni the 15th of August, and that he received a sum of £83 15s. 
for professional services rendered while there. 

The money levies on the citizens, for the exigencies of the Puritan army 
and the requirements of the new government after the surrender, were literally 
enormous. They would be incredible if they were not vouched for by in- 
disputable data.^ Under the new regime the citizens of Limerick had no 
reason indeed to congratulate themselves. 

> Arthur MSS. 

' Dr. Arthur's account of what he was called upon to pay, and for what purpose, is in his own 

hand-writing (Arthur MSS.), from which I extract the following particulars : 

Decembris, 1651, of the first cess le^^ed after the surrender I payed 

Januarii, 1652, of the second levy I payed Thos. Fitzwm. Fanning 

Martii, 1652, for fyer to the gardes delivered to Ptk. Fitzjames Whyte ... 

For 1652, for fyer and candle light to the said gardes delivered to Thos. 


22nd Martii, 1652, for lodging moneys to the guarrizon delivered to Thos. Fanning 

p Aprilis, 1652, for the Poore and losses of the bill to Thos. Fanning 

Aprilis, 1652, for a leviye then made 

May, 1652, ... 

Junii, 1652, for a leviye then made 

7 Junii, 1652, for some arrears due of the said former leivye 

90 Julii, 1652, for a levy then made delivered to Thomas Woulfe 

30 Julii, 1652, for a levy then made and for fyer and candlelight 

3" Augustii, 1652, for fyer and candlelight 

Augustii, 1652, for a levy then made and delivered to Thomas Woulfe ..* 

Septembris, 1652, for a levy then made, delivered to Thomas Woulfe 

Septembris, 1652, for fyer and candlelight 

Septembris, 1652, for skynnes recovered against the Corporation 

Octobris, 1652, for a levy then made, delivered to Thomas Woulfe 

Novembris, 1652, for stocks and skavengers 

Decembris, 1652, for the new gate of St. John's 

for fyer and candlelight to Clement Stackpol 

Januarii, 1653, for a levy then made and delivered to Wm. Meroney 

Januarii, 1653, for fyer and candlelight to the citadells for 3 months 

„ 1653, for that moneth's contribution to Wm. C. Meroney 

„ 1653, for that moneth's contribution, payed to Wm. Meroney 

„ 1653, for that moneth's C. payed to Wm. Meroney 




























































To increase tlie extreme rigor and misery of these terrible times of suffer- 
ing, com and provisions of every description were scarce and higli priced. 
The great market for com in particular, was ' Nenagh in Ormond/ to which 
such of the citizens of Limerick as possessed the means, were accustomed 
to go or to send their messengers, to purchase supphes for their house- 
hold and their workmen. At this time corn was about £3 a bushel in 
Ormond. It may be observed that in these times and before them, it 
was usual not only to pay the artisan and the labourer in cash, not 
quite so much, indeed as they are now paid, but to bake bread, to brew 
malt, to lay in store barrels of herrings and quantities of butter for their 
consumption, a long account of which we find set forth in the MSS. of Dr. 
Arthur during the comparatively lengthened period he was building a great 
" stone howse in Mongret- street, in the south suburb of the city of Limerick," 
which stone house he began in 1620, but which he had scarcely finished 
when Ireton was thundering at the gates.' Previous to the surrender, the 
impositions, though not so heavy, were severe. The levies were monthly. 
In addition, horse and foot were quartered on such of the citizens as could 
or could not bear the burden.^ There were levies and applotments also 
for the ditches, outworks and fortifications, previous to the siege and sur- 

Warding the gate whyles the new gate was a making at se- 
veral nights to Owelane 
1653, payed for the savengers, town maior, & for fyre & candlelight 
1653, payed for that moneth's contribution to Wm. Meroney 

payed for fyre and candlelight to the citadels for the 3 months 


payed for that moneth's contribution, p. L. K. Tickett 

payed for the next moneth's contribution to come payed to 
T. Arthur 

To Thomas Gerrott Arthur, for Cess 

paid him for the citadell moneys 

paid him for the moneth's cess 

paid him for the moneth's cess 

lighting to the guards 

On the opposite page Dr. Arthur enters : — 

Cess Moneyes. 
Octobris, 1653, I payed to Thomas Arthur a head bill for cess ... ... £35 6 

180 Novembris, I payed to Michael Stritch head bill for cess moneys ... 30 2 5 

10" Decembris, I payed him for cess moneys ... ... ... ... 30 

' To shew the quantity and capacity of mere brewing materials in private houses in Limerick 
in these times I take the following from the Arthur MSS — 

" A note of what goods and household stuf Doctor Thomas Arthur Fitzwilliam left in the 
custodie of his wife in his mansion-house at Lymerick : — 

1. Bras kitle, weighing four hundred weight, able to contein a whole hogsed of liquor, with 
his parents' names thereuppon, and cost him twenty pounds sterling, being bought from them. 

2. Another bras kitle a little smaller than the former, both for brewing. 

3. 4. Brass destelling pots, whereof one is bigger than the other, with their hurdles, pipes, 
and necessarie accommodations, 

5. A deep large brass pan to boil meate in as a quarter of beeffe." 
[The list enumerates several other vessels of somewhat smaller dimensions.] 
" 8 big brass candlesticks, weighing 27^ lbs. of Holland fashion, and cost me 45s. and 6d. ster. 
A coper cauderon capable of a barrel 1 
Various ' Brass Mortars with iron pestills.* 

1 ould baltrey (quere paltry?) kitle in paune of Phillls Creagh's rent.*' 

The latter item, perhaps, might be omitted, but in hard times it is no wonder that rent was 

* Dr. Arthur enters as follows : — 

" From the 2nd day of June to the 2nd of November, 1651, I payed to such horse and foot as 

the head bill, Wm. Morony, quartered uppon me, and for several others. 
More I payed to the said Wm. Moroney towards the English guarizon." 





















render ; and for the money " lent to James Marquis of Ormond, Lieutenant 
General and General Governor of Ireland/^^ The pressure was intolerable. 

The surrender of Limerick and Galway, the latter under terms better by 
far than Limerick,,^ put an end to what has been conventionally termed the 
great rebellion. The only Castle in Munster that held out was Ross, in 
the lake of KiHarney, which was thought impregnable, but Ludlow caused 
a small ship to be made, and carried over the mountains — this he floated in 
the Lough ; and the Irish were so astonished that they yielded up the fort on 
the 27th of June, 1652. 

About the same time Lord Westmeath, Lord Muskerry, O^Connor Roe, 
Sir William Dungan, Sir Francis Talbot and others submitted upon conditions 
" that they should abide a trial for the murders committed in the beginning 
of the rebellion, and that those who assisted only in the war were to forfeit 
two-thirds of their estates and be banished.^ Following out the fortunes of 
Inchiquin, who embarked for France from Galway with Lord Ormond, we 
find that being exempted from pardon by Cromwell, in 1652, he became a 
Lieutenant- General of the French army, and was appointed Yiceroy of Cata- 
lonia by the king ; serviQg afterwards in the Netherlands, and commanding 
the forces sent to assist the Portuguese, when they revolted from Spain, he 
was captured by a Sallee Rover or Algerine Corsair, with his fanuly, and was 
obhged to pay a heavy ransom. He was created Earl of Inchiquin, and had 
a grant of £8000 from Charles II. as compensation for his losses. He lived 
a Catholic for fourteen years before his death, and died in Limerick ; his body 
was interred in 1674 in the Cathedral of St. Mary's, the cannon firing daring 
his interment."' Execrations cliag to his memory. 




The first High Court of Justice to try those who were accused by the 
Cromwellians of ^' the barbarous murders committed in this rebellion," was 
held before Justice Donelan, President, Commissary General Reynolds and 
Justice Cooke, assistants, in Kilkenny on the 4th of October, and it sat in 
the house occupied by the Supreme Council of the confederates in 1642. 
Some, as we have already mentioned, were excluded from pardon altogether. 
The same Court at which Sir Phelim O'Neil was tried, condemned, and ordered 
to be hung, was held in Dubhn, before Chief Justice Lowther. Sir Phelim 
confessed he had no commission from the late king Charles for the rebellion 
of 1641, that he took the seal from a patent he had found at Charlemont, 

> For this purpose to H. Casy, Dr. Arthur paid ... ... ... ... £37 6 

" Besides this share of moneies lent to Prince Rupert" ... ... ... 3 11 

" And the double applotment of the weekly moneies for 6 weeks" ... ... 36 8 

All these sums and several others were paid by Dr. Arthur, and he was but one among the 
many severely taxed. 

2 Cox Hib. Anglicana, Vol. II, p. 69. 3 Ibid, p. 70, 

« Whites MSS. 


and fixed it to a commission he caused to be written in the king's name, that 
Michael Harrisson, then present in court, and confessing the fact, was the 
person who stitched the cord or label of the seal with silk of the same 
colour. Lord Mayo was tried, and executed by being shot to death, for 
falling on the English, and kilhng among others the Protestant Bishop of 
Killala, and about eighty others, after the surrender of the Castle of Castle- 
bar. Lord Maguire, notwithstanding his vehement protest, was tried and 
sentenced in England, and was not permitted the ministration of a cathoHc 
priest in his dymg moments ! Courts were held in Cork, Waterford, and 
other places, and about two hundred persons were sentenced to death at the 
hands of the common hangman. 

I will not dwell on the wholesale robberies which were perpetrated at this 
crisis under the name of law. The forfeited lands in Ulster, Leinster and 
Munster, were parcelled out in separate proportions, a part of which was 
divided among the soldiers and the Enghsh adventurers. The Church lands 
too were not spared. What remained of the forfeitures was left to the dis- 
posal of the ParHament. A large tract of barren land in Connaught, which 
by plague and war, had been well nigh depopulated and rendered a desert, 
was set apart for the Irish, for whom the alternative was 'Connaught or hell.' 
To such a state had the country been reduced that a proclamation was issued 
by Cromwell ofifering a reward to those who killed wolves by which the 
country was now overrun ; and by a lease which was made to Captain Edward 
Piers, on the 11th of March, 1652-3, of all the forfeited lands and tithes, 
in the Barony of Dunboyne in the County of Meath, only five miles north 
of Dublin, he was obliged to keep three woKdogs, two English mastiffs, a 
pack of hounds of sixteen couple, three of them to hunt the woK only, a 
knowing huntsman, two men and a boy, and an orderly hunt to take place 
thrice a month at least. ^ If Leinster, within a short distance of Dublin, was 
so fearfully reduced, what must we think of Connaught, to which the 
Catholics were driven wholesale ; and where many of them who had enjoyed 
large possessions in the most favored parts of Ireland before the war, had 
now no place whatever to receive them, though they were transferred to that 
province with an assurance that they would have sufficient. To show the 
general desolation of the country, even two years after these times. General 
Eleetwood writes to his friend Secretary Thurloe, on the 27th of June in 
that year from Dubhn, " there hath scarce been a house left undemolished, 
fit for an Enghshman to dwell in, out of walled towns in Ireland, nor any 
timber left, except in very few places, undestroyed." — (Thurloe' s State 
Papers, ii. 404.) 

The Mayoralty of Limerick continued vacant for four years from the date 
of the surrender, the government of the city being vested in a governor 
appointed by Ireton. 

Some important occurences took place in this year : — writing under date 
May 7th, 1653, from Chester, he states that they shipped away in the 
Cardiff frigate £40,000 to Dublin, that Sir Hardress Waller is gone in the 
same ship ; that they proceeded to sea, with a fair wind, the day before, and 
that it was hoped it would bring them to their desired port speedily.^ A 
letter from Tralee on the 19th of April, states that there came from Limerick 
two vessels with near six weeks' provisions of bread ' for the forces within 

' See Proceedings of Kilkennv Arch. Society, Vol. III. New Series, p. 77. 
» State Papers, No. 2999. 


this precinct, which is as reasonable a relief as we ever enjoyed. The Lord 
set it home upon our hearts, we find it not in vain to trust in him/' 

The Council of State from Whitehall, issued their orders respecting the 
satisfying of the claims of adventurers who had advanced considerable sums 
of money by way of adventure for lands forfeited in Ireland, authorising a 
commission to sit and enquire into all men's claims, by comparing their 
receipts and assignments with the original books, ' and directing that they shall 
cause an entry to be made in a book, fairly written and kept for that purpose, 
of aU such sum and sums of money (in words not figures) as shall be by them 
allowed, as also the names of the first adventurers, as of the person or persons 
now claiming the same/ Further directions are given on this subject, and 
apportionments on the several Provinces and Counties, viz. : — 

Co. Waterford ... 20,000 King's County ... 40,000 

Co. Limerick ... 30,000 Queen's County .. . 40,000 

Co. Tipperary ... 60,000 Antrim 15,000 

EastMeath ... 55,000 Down 15,000 

WestMeath ... 65,000 Amagh 15,000^ 

The acres to be English measurement, and the Committee to receive Id. in 
the £1 of and for every adventurer, for so much land as he shall be entitled 
or lay claim to, towards defraying of all incidental charges, &c. 

The condition of the citizens of Limerick was exceedingly miserable 
tliroughout this period. Dr. Arthur writes as follows : — " On the ides of 
December, 1653, the citizens of Limerick, about to be enrolled''^ [probably 
for enlistment purposes] •" in the city, and having no settled dwelling place, 
requested me to plead their cause before the general of the army and 
the committee of the English Parliament [comitia] who were then at 
Dublin, that they would please to assign to them some certain place of 
habitation, on the northern side of the port of Limerick [in Clare] where 
they might dwell in security, lest, if they were straggling about, they might 
perish by exposure to insults and various perils of life and fortune; but 
having failed in the negociation, had them informed thereof by a messenger."^ 
So unpopular was the ParHamentary service, that the natives who attempted 
to enlist were compelled to apply for protection which they failed to obtain ! 
Among the minor notabilia we may mention that Charles Fleetwood, com- 
mander-in-chief of the Parliamentary army of England in Ireland, being subject 
to a painful disease by which he was periodically attacked, was attended by 
Dr. Arthur, who, at his request, wrote a treatise on the history, cause, 
progress and remedy of the distemper (He'miarani)^ 

» State Papers. ' » Arthur's MSS. ' Arthur's MSS. 





So desperately opjjressed were tlie Irisli now that they petitioned to 
transport themselves into foreign service^ which several of them were allowed 
to do. On the 5th of May, 1653, articles of agreement were drawn up 
between Colonel Theophilus Jones and Colonel Philip Reilly, on behalf of 
himseK and gentry, by which they got liberty of transportation to Spain, leave 
to sell their goods, and enjojonent of personal estates, and satisfaction for 
their houses at reasonable rates ; priests were compelled to quit the country 
within one month; prisoners of war were set at Hberty within ten days, 
&c.^ • Colonel Fitzpatrick was allowed to go with his regiment into the ser- 
vice of the King of Spain. Colonel John O'Dwyer, commander-in-chief of 
the Irish in the counties of Waterford and Tipperary, followed the example. 
On his departure the celebrated song " John O^Dwyer of the Glen " was 
written,^ and having entered into a treaty with Colonel Sankey, he obtained 
leave to possess his estates, and those who submitted with him, received the 
same privilege, all under the required qualification.^ The sickness prevailed 
greatly in several parts of Ireland, and particularly about Dublin.* Dal- 
rymple states^ that Cromwell, in order to get free of his enemies, did not 
scruple to transport forty thousand Irish from their own country, to fill all 
the armies of Europe with complaints of his cruelty and admiration of their 
own valour ! Colonel Prittie, who did good service for the Parliamentary 
cause in several places at this crisis, as well as Captain Jacob at Dundrum, 
Colonel Abbott and other officers " by whom the Irish were reduced to great 
extremities, were also rewarded." An act was passed by Crom^n-ell's Parlia- 
ment permitting the English adventurers, officers and soldiers to purchase 
the forfeited houses in Limerick, at six years' purchase, and that the city 
should have the same privileges, franchises and immunities with the city of 
Bristol in England, &c. The Parliament was summoned by the usur^^er out 
of England, Scotland and Ireland. Thirty members only were returned from 
Ireland, who under the pretext of avoiding the evils of election were ^ selected* 
by commissioners appointed by the government. Sir Hardress Waller sat in 
this Parliament for the comities of Limerick, Kerry and Clare ; and WiUiam 
Purefoy, Esq., for the city of Limerick and town of Kilmallock. The latter 
was succeeded in 1659 by Walter Waller, Esq.; these men, as may well be 
supposed, were the mere creatures of the government ; and for the more 
effectual strengthening of his own power, Cromwell dismissed the Irish com- 
missioners from their office, and constituted Fleetwood Deputy for three 
years. A short time afterwards he sent over his second son Henry, whom he 

1 State Papers, No. 3103. 

2 Hardiman's Minstrelsy. 

3 State Papers, No. 3091. 

•« On the 29th of June, 1653, it was stated that 1,800 Irish had transported themselves for 
Spain, over 5,000 more were ready to be transported, that nianj' died, still more do die, both of 
the plague and famine. 

'•> Memoirs of Great Britain, vol. 1. 


vested with the authority of Lord Lieutenant, having removed Fleetwood. 
Martial law with savage ferocity some time prevailed in all the fortified 
towns and cities. 

In the city of Limerick the government was military until 1656/ when by 
mandate from Cromwell the Puritan party elected twelve aldermen, who in 
the month of June in that year, elected Colonel Henry Ingoldsby Mayor.2 

Large grants were made in the city and Kberties of Limerick, and in par- 
ticular in the North Liberties, to Sir William Petty, ^ surveyor-general, for 
the services performed in the celebrated Down Survey under which the 

1 The following is a list of the regiments established for the service in Ireland : — Eight 
regiments of horse — His Excellency General Cromwell's, General Fleetwood's, Lieutenant-General 
Ludlow's, Com. -General Keynolds', Sir Charles Coote, Colonel Henry Cromwell, Colonel Sankey ; 
Two regiments of Dragoons — viz. Colonel Abbott's, Colonel Ingoldsby ; Foot — twelve regiments, 
1,200 each — General Cromwell's, General Fleetwood's, Major-General Waller's, Sir Charles Coote's, 
Colonel Heweston's, Colonel Venalle's, Colonel Stubber's, Colonel Axtel's, Colonel Laurence's, 
Colonel Phair's, Colonel Sadler's, and Colonel Clark's. — State Papers, No. 3111, 

* Sir Henry Ingoldsby, M.P. for Limerick, was son of Sir Eichard Ingoldsby, knt. (by 
Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Oliver Cromwell, K.B ) and brother of Sir Richard Ingoldsby, K.B. 
an eminent general officer in the Parliamentary army. Sir Henry took a prominent, and, on 
many occasions, a verj' savage part in the Irish war, and was very instrumental in subjugating 
the South of Ireland to Cromwell's power ; but, on the death of the Protector, Ingoldsby, who 
was a Presbj'terian in politics and religious views, like Sir Hardress Waller, whose daughter 
Anne he had married, plotted to overthrow the independent party. He came over from Ireland, 
seized Windsor Castle, and held it for the party then led by Monk, who eventually restored 
Charles II. He had been created a Baronet by Cromwell in 1658 ; but Charles II. conferred the 
same title on him ia 1660. It became extinct with his grandson in 1726, when part of the estates 
fell to the noble family of Massy. 

The Ingoldsbys fared well in the war. Major George Ingoldsby 's share of the spoil was large : — 
In the Parish of Ludden, or Luddenbeg he was granted Ballybricken, 404a. 2r. 16p. for 

£6 2s. 10|d. per an.— In North Ballyharden and Grange ... 20 2 12 

In other places in the same parish, and in other baronies, viz. — Clan- 

william. Small County, &c ... ... ... ... 1241 

or = 2611 
For a total rent of ... ... £18 

And in Tipperary he obtained ... ... ... ... 71 1a. 

or = 1152 
for a total rent of ... ... £10 1 

The lands in Tipperary he sold to William Jesse, gent. — Enrolled 12th August, 1666. 

' Sir William Petty by his employment in surveying the forfeited lands in Ireland after the 
rebellion of 1641, acquired an estate of £6000 a year, and could from Mangerton Mountain, in 
the Barony of Dunkerron, Co. Kerrj', behold 50,000 acres of his own lands, which large acqui- 
sition brought such an odium on him that he published a book to show the unreasonableness 
thereof, entituled " reflections upon some persons and things in Ireland," wherein he demonstrates 
that he might have acquired as large a fortune, without ever meddling with surveys. " In the 
year 1649, (says he), I proceeded M.D., after the charge whereof, and my admission into the 
College of London, I had left about £60. From that time till about August, 1652, by my prac- 
tice, fellowship at Gresham and at Brazen Nose College, and by my anatomy lectures at Oxford, 
I had made that £60 to be near £600 ; from August, 1652, when I went into Ireland, to December, 
1654, when I began to survey, and other public engagements, with £100 advance money, and 
£365 a year of well paid salary, as physician-general to the army, as also by my practice among 
the chiefs, in a chief city of a nation, I made my said £500 above £1600 ; for a year in Ire- 
land could not be less than £200, which with £550 for another year's salary and practice — viz. 
until the lands were set out in October, 1655, would have increased my stock to £2,5"50, with 
£2,000 whereof I could have bought £8,000 debentures, which could liave then purchased me 
15,000 acres of land, viz. as much as I am now accused to have ; these 15,000 could not yield 
me less than 2s. per acre, £1,500 per ammm, especially receiving the rents of May day preced- 
ing. This year's rent, with £550 for my salary and practice, &c., till December, 1656, would 
have bought me, even then (debentures growing dearer) £6,000 in debentures, whereof the 
5-7ths then paid would have been about £4,000 neat, for which must have had about 8,000 
acres more, being as much almost as I conceive is due to me. The rent for 15,000 acres and 
8,000 acres, for three years, could not have been less than £7,000, which, with the same three 
years' salary, viz. £1,650, would have been near £9,000 estate in money, above the before 
mentioned £2,500 per annum in lands. The which, whether it be more or less than what I 
now have, I leave to all the world to examine and judge. This estate I must have got without 









. (plant.) 







forfeited estates were parcelled out, which caused a blush to mantle his 
own cheek, and for which he endeavoured to apologise. The enormous 

ever meddling -with surveys, much less with the more fatal distribution of lands after they were 
surveyed, and without meddling with the Clerkship of the Council, or being Secretary to the 
L. L, [Henry Cromwell, Lord Lieutenant], all which, I had been so happy as to have declined, 
then I had preserved an universal favor and interest with all men, instead of the odium and per- 
secution I now endure." — Smith's History of Kerry, pp. 90-91. 

Sib. William Petty, Knt. also got Farranshone, alias Castleblacke, 170a. (275a. Ir. 20p. stat.) 

£2 lis. 7M Ballynantybegg, 48a. (77a. 3r. Ip. stat.) 14s. 7.d_Farrinagowane, 130a. 

(210a. 2r. 13p. stat.) £1 193. 6d._Killrush, 80a. (129a. 2r. 13p. stat.) £1 Os. ll^d — Moolish. 
46a. 3r. (75a. 2r. 13p. stat.) 14s. 2d^. — Shanabooly and Farranaconarra, 91a. 2r. (148a. 35p. 
stat! £1 Is. 5d.— Clonmackanbegg, 61a. 2r. (99a. 2r. 20p. stat.) 18s. 8d — Ballygranane, 158a. 

(255a. 3r. 30p. stat.) £2 8s Cloncanane, 189a. 2r. (306a. 3r. 34p. stat.) £2 lOs. 3|d.— 

Conagh(part) or Clonagh, 58a. 3r. (95a. & 27p. stat.) 17 10^ — North Liberties of the city 

of Limerick Enrolled IQth of August, 1666. Besides many other grants elsewhere. 

The following are other grants at this period in the City and County of Limerick : — 
Sir Kichard Ingoldsby, Knt. of the Bath, and Sir Henry Ingoldsby, Bart., got St. Mary's 
Abbey in Limerick, &c. &c. &c — Enrolled do. 

Sir Eandal Clayton — Large grants in Williamstowne and Kochestown (except Dr. Arthur's 
part in both) 216a. 2r. 29p. (350a. 3r, 39p. stat.) £3 5s. 9^.— Clanwilliam, Co. Limerick.— 
Enrolled 29th August, 1666. 

Sir Ralph Wilson, Knt., In Rathhane, 159a. and several other grants in the South Liberties 
of Limerick. Total quantity, 513a. plant. (830a. 3r. 39p — Enrolled 28th December, 1666. 

Captain John Winckworthe — North Rathurd alias Rathure, 114a. &c. &c. &c. South 
Liberties of the County of the City of Limerick — Enrolled 7th August, 1666. 
Samuel Wade obtained grants, ditto. 
Robert Pasly, ditto. 

William Yarwell, Esq. obtained 505a. Ir. 26p. stat. — Enrolled 2\st May, 1667. 
Captain Thomas Wallcott, obtained grants in the County of the City of Limerick, total 
quantity, 1148a. & 7p. plant. (1801a. Ir, 12p. stat.) Total rent, £16 178. ^'^A.— Enrolled 21 th 
April, 1666. 

Henry Abbott, John Fletcher, and John Garrett, ditto. 

Mary, daughter and heir of Richard Francis — Part of Knockanantye and Bally\'olHn, and 
the Commons thereto belonging, 110a. 3r. lOp. plant. (17ya. 2r. stat.) £1 13s. 8d. — Liberties 

of the City of Limerick Enrolled iih February, 1666. 

Daniel Bowman, and Martha his wife, and Nathl. Westen, son and heir of Captain 
Richard Westen, obtained grants in St. John's Parish, St. Nicholas' Parish, in St. Lawrence's 
Parish, in St. Michael's Parish, and townlands in the South Liberties of Limerick. Total 
quantity, 317a. 2r. 4p. stat. Total rent, £2 19s. 6|d. 

Wentworth, Earl of Roscommon, and Roger Earl of Orrery, obtained grants in St. Nicholas' 
Parish, and an immense quantity' of other property ; all in the City of Limerick. Note, by 
letters from Whitehall, date 2nd December, 1661, and 17th December, 1663, the King directed 
their arrears for .service before the 5th of June, 1649, to be satisiied by a grant of several houses 
in Limerick, as they should chuse. — 15e. 3d. p. d. r. 11. 

Liedt.-Colonel Francis Rowlston — Grants in Liberties of the City of Limerick. — En- 
rolled September 28tk, 1668. 

David and Henry Bindon and Patrick Vantry — Cloughkeaton, 185a., £2 16s. 25d. 

to David. — Cloghcoky, 182a. part of, 67a. In part of, £2 15s. 'S^d. to Henry South Liberties 

of the City of Limerick. In Islandoan and Corbally, 72a. 2r. 16p. £1 23. Oj. To Vantry — 
Liberties of same. — Enrolled 18th July, 1668. 

Francis, Lord Bishop of Limerick — Several houses in the City of Limerick. 
John Smith, A.M. Minister of St. Munchin's Parish— ditto. 
John Sowden, A.M. Minister of St. John's Parish — ditto. 

Nicholas Bourke, Esq. — Total quantity of grants, 2494a. plant. (4039a. 2r. 7p. stat.) 
total rent, £37 17s. 2ld.— Enrolled 18lh February, 1668. 

Richard Waller, Esq. — Several grants in the Liberties of the City of Limerick — Enrolled 
January llth, 1669. 

Sir Oliver St. George, in the Barony of Costlea — Total quantity, 3,112a. 3r. plant. (5042a. 
and 24p. stat.) Total rent, £47 5s. 5|d. 

Chidley Coote, the Elder, Esq., Ardovelane, 238a. £3 12s. 8^d. Bahernevottery, 42a. 12s. 9d. 
Milltowne, 121a. £1 16s. 9d. Flemingstowne, 106a. £1 12s. 2:|-d. Ballingaddybegg, 54a. 
16s. 4|d. Ballingaddymore, 104a. £1 lis. 7d. Owlort, 104a. prof. 17a. 3r. 3p. unprof. 
£1 14s. 7|d. Auianstowne, 190a. prof. 5a. unprof. £2 17s. 8|d. Garrykettinea, 33a. lOs. ^d. 
Carreagarruffe, 35a. 10s. 7fd. Comes, 61a. prof. 3a. unprof. 18s. e^^d. Ballinehord, 472a, 
prof. 8a. unprof. £6 9s. 75^d. Ballingawsey, with the unprof. lands, 782a. 3r. prof. 148a. unprof. 
£11 17 8fd. Killgnosey, or Killguosey, with the unprof. lands, 17a. Ir. 5s. 3d. Ballywodane, 
173a. £2 12». G^d. Graige, 10a, 3». Did. Garrifooke and Glandannon, 2l9a. £3 6». G^d. 


grants given to Sir William Petty, &c. are now held by his descendant, the 
Marquis of Lansdowne. 

Jamestowne, with the unprof. lands, 181a. £2 14s. 11 |d. Clyshagh, 67a. 17s 3|d. Ballin- 
carruna, 112a. £1 14s. id. Rathnecritagh, 153a. £2 6s. 5|d. Hyarrycuonas, 183a. £2 15s. 7d. 
Ballyreshauboy, with the unprof. lands, 317a. £4 Ifa's. S^d. Ardpatrick, with the unprof. lands 
thereof, 71a. £1 Is. 6|d. Bar. Costlea, Co. Limerick. 

Sir Stephen White, Knt— Total quantity, 1,333a. Ir. 13p. plant. (2,159a. 3r, 4p. stat ) 
Bar. Connelloe, Co, Limerick Date, 14th Nov. 19th year. Inrolled 5th December, 1(j67. 

John Odell, Thomas Boone, and John Gardiner, gents. — Total quantity (including grants in 
Cork, 1679a. 3r. ]2p. stat.) Date, 28th Nov. 19th year Inrolled 24th December, 1667. 

Dame Anne, relict of Sir Nicholas Crispe, John and Thomas Crispe, their sons, several grants 
of land in the barony of Conneloe, Co. Limerick Inrolled 23th December, 1668. 

Colonel Randall Clayton and Lady Jane Sterling got grants of various houses, tenements, &c. 
in the town of Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. 

Thomas, Earl of Ossory, Richard, Earl of Arran, and Sir Arthur Gore, Knt. got grants in 
Kilmallock, and immense grants of houses, lands, &c., in Tipperary County, particularly in 
Fethard, and Clonmell, and in Clare. Total quantity, 3,169a. Ir. 20p. plant. (5,133a. 3r. ISp. 
stat.) Total rent, £48 2s. 7|^d. Date, 17th December, 19th year. Inrolled 19th Dec. 1667. 

Margaret, Anne, Mary, Susan, and Mabell, daughters of Richard Grice, deceased, of Fans- 
towne, obtained large grants Co. Limerick, in Kilmallock, &c. 

Richard Lord Coloony, and Henry Temple, Esq., obtained large grants of houses, plotts of 
ground, &c., in Kilmallock, in the Barony of Clanwilliam. 

Captain John Frend obtained a grant of 756a. Ir. stat. in the Barony of Clanwilliam. 
Dr. Richard Boyle, Bishop of Femes and Leighlin, his heirs and assignees, 356a. 5p. stat. 
c. £3 6s. 9id. in same barony. 
Captain Humphrey Hartwell, 877a. 3r. 32p. stat. £8 4d. 7id. in ditto. 
John Mathews and John Snow, 320a. and lip. stat. £3. 
Captain Ingram obtained a total of 990a Ir. Ip. stat. in same barony. 

Sir Thomas Southwell, Bart, obtained grants of Killcullen, alias Kilconleene, 310a., in this 
barony, and in Cahreene, Bar. Coshma, 100. Total, 664a. and 21p. stat. rent £6 4s. 6jd. 

Sir William King, Knt. was granted the castle, town, and lands of Killpeakan and Kilmor- 
rismore, 481a. 2r. 19p, stat. £9 4s. |d. (Bar. Small Co). The castle, town, and lands of East 
Caherelly, Boherduffe, Ballysallagh, and Knockcarragh, 696a. an island adjoining, 34a. The 
castle, town and lands of West Caherelly, 402, Ballyblacker, part of Ballybricken, 40a. (Bar. 
Clanwilliam). Total quantity 1898a. Ir. 39p. stat. Total rent, £17 15s. ll|d. In Kilfrush, 
301a. Ir. 6p. stat. £2 16s. 6d. (Bar. Small County). South, North, and East Ballyhindon 
and Graige, 157a. 3r. 26p. Ballygymoe, and several other denominations, making a total of 
1466a. and 34p. stat. Total rent, £13 4s. lid. Park and Kebouge, 258a. lip. In Carnarry 
130a. South Liberties of Limerick. Total quantity, 808a. Ir. 8p. statute. Total rent, 
£7 Us. 6fd. 

Samuel Mollyneux, Esq., obtained several grants in Clanwilliam. Total 1085a. 12r. 25p. stat. 
Inrolled 5th of October, 1666. 

John Maunsell, Esq., of Ballyvorneene, obtained grants in this barony. Total, 1205a. and 
19p. Inrolled 7th of May, 1667. 

Murrough, Earl of Inchiquin obtained grants in this barony, in Ballynegalhagh, 110a. and a 
malt-house, seven tenements and gardens called Peter's Cell, in the city of Limericlc 

Ullysses Burgh obtained grants in Drombane, part of Castleurkine and Garryglasse. Total 
174a. 3r. 13p. 

Edmond Allen, son and heir of Edmond Allen, deceased, obtained a grant of 77a. in this 

Colonel Daniel Abbott, grants of Synode, 143a. plat. (231a. 2r. 32p. stat.) £2 3s. 5^d. 
Colonel Carey Dillon and Captain James Stopford, a moiety of Drumkeene, the ancient patri- 
mony of the Burkes, 323a. 2r. 24p. stat. Inrolled 27th Sept. 1669. 

Oliver Ormsby, Esq., great grants in the barony of Small County. Inrolled 10th July, 1666. 
Captain Robert Morgan, ditto. £3 5s. 3fd. Inrolled 14th December, 1666. 
Captain Francis Follett, ditto. Inrolled 15th February, 1666. 

John Bullingbrooke — In Kilfrush and Ballylaroney, 570a. Ir. 39p. prof. 90a. unprof. plant. 
(924a. and 17p. stat.) £8 13s. 3d. Inrolled, 2nd March, 1666. 

Anthony Raymond, gent. Caherguillamore, 195a. 2r. lOp. £2 19s. 4fd. InroUed 24th June, 

Captain Thomas Newburgh, Kilfrush (part), 100a. and 11a. (plant.) 162a. lip. stat 
£1 lOs. 4^d. Inrolled 7th February, 1666. 

Michael Boyle, Lord Archbishop of Dublin, and Lord Chancellor, obtained grants of the four 
ploughlands of Carrigogunell and Newtown, &c. &c. bar. Pobbel Brien. Inrolled 2nd July, 1666. 
Sir Arthur Ingram, Knt. in same baronv (of Pobbel Brien) a total quantity of 1790a. and 
39p. stat. 



Among the grants in Limerick, was a house purchased by act of Parlia- 
mentj set out as annexed to this see for ever, for the Protestant bishop.* 

After the general survey of the kingdom, the highest value given was 
only 4s. an acre, and for some acres only one penny. It was Lord Broughill 
who proposed that the whole kingdom might be surveyed, and the number of 

Richard Sweete, gent, a total grant in same barony of 795a. Ir. 3p. stat. Inrolled 19th of 
April, 1667. 

James, Duke of York, obtained grants of Castle Troy, 350a., Anghacotta, Newcastle, Kilbane, 
Kilmurry, Kerryship, Ballinglasseene, Ballynagh, Ballydoe, Knockingaule, Lislane, and Medine- 
dally ; Ballysamon, Tolton, Sheadfeackle, Scrylane, Lyslane, Ballj'-Kinucke, Killowtiane, and 
Garryglasse, 2150a. One parcele of Killkenan, called Seaven Stang, -with five-eighth parts of 
the net fishing on the south side of the Shannon, from the Blackwater to the island point of 
Rebogue, with one whole and two half fishing weares upon the Shannon, and one upon the Mus- 
kerne (Mulkaire), Co. of the City of Limerick. Liscadowne, Boherloyde, Ballymacree, Labana- 
muck, Ardemonacamore, Ardmonicabegg, Lysmelanbegg, Caher-JooUy, and Lismakelly, Whitta- 
towne Ballyagag, Carrigmasteene, Colereagh, 2117 acres, Bar. Clanwilliam ; Bally-Coughlane 
and Ardlagh, with the fishing weares, &c. 653a. 2r. 32p. prof. 200a. unprof. The Castle and 
six ploughlands of Ballyglaghane, Clourkellj', Tyne-Kelly, Gartane, Dowgart, Ballygogh, Kil- 
leene, Shanballymore, Gortgloghan, the houses and lands of Curragh, Ballynemoney, Ballardicke, 
1990a. prof. Sin. and 14p. unprof. Pallice, Castle Pallice, Shane Pallice, Knocklershane, 
283a. Ir. 18p. Forrenstowne (part) 20a. The 600th part of the weares in the libertie and 
island of Oniseclene ; Killenane, Clonkelly, and Ballyerahane, 409a. Ballynehane, part of Lis- 
coclany, with Newcastle and Ballykunicke, the horse island in Limerick, part of Castletowne, 
called Island, 190a. part of Castletowne, Ballymartin, in Ballyclarone, 200a. same co. 

The Duke of York's estate (the unfortunate James II.) was granted to Henry Guy, Robert 
Rochfort, and Mathew Hutton, Esqs., by letters patent dated 1st of June, 1693, and enrolled 
24:th following July (anno 5° Guil. III. 

Captain Arthur "Ormsby — Total quantity (including in Cork County easterly part of Mahowna, 
alias Bohowna, 1040a., in Lysbyalat, 13a. 2r. 4s. Id. ; bar. of East Carbury, Co. Cork) 3,746a. 
2r. plant. (6068a. 2r. 39p. stat.) 

George Evans — Total quantity (including grants in Owneybeg and Cosmasane, and ia Owny 
and Arra, Co. Tip.), 1467a. and 13p. plant. (2,37ea. Ir. 32p. stat.) 

William White, of Lyme-Regis, merchant — Total quantity 197a. 3r. 23p. plant, (320a. 2r. 
27p. stat.) Inrolled 22nd February, 1666. 

Ahasuerius Regimort, Mary and Martha Fowler, same grants. Inrolled 17th March, 1666. 

William Barker, Esq. In Meolicke and Ballyeightra, 215a. 2r. 16p. £3 5s. 6d. Craggana 
alias Cragane Farrenowney, Coolengore and Knockbracke, 146a. 2r. £2 4s. 7jd. Corkaghanarron, 
alias Corkanarrow, part of Knockbracke, 40a. Ir. 8p. 12s. 25d. Inch-Dromard, alias Inish- 
Dromard, Barnard, Ballyfadny, alias Ballyfadine, Cahirnor and Ballybeg, 184a. 15s. lOJd.— 
more of the same, 14a. 4s. 2|d. Upper Meelicke, 64a. and 16p. 19s. i^d. BalljTievine, 83a. 3r. 
24p. £1 53. 5^d. Leacorrowraore, 11a. and 16p. 3s. 4jd. Leacorrowbeg, 14a. 2r. 16p. 4s. 4|d. 
Cragg-beg, 132a. and 16p. 2s. S^d. Killtemplaine, f plow. 123a. and lip. £1 17 4^d. Liscoulta, 
46a. 2r. 32p. Ms. l^d. Killcoulman, | plow. 50a. Ir. 8p. ISs. 3|-d. Commons of Killcoullman, 
Killcoulta, and Broska-Briankeigh or bragh, 22a. 2r. 6s. 9fd. Clounabegg, j plow. 246a. Ir. 
£3 14s. 9d. Lissdoffee, 179a. 3r. 8p. £2 Us. 7Jd. Lisnemore, alias Lisceleenmore, 73a. 3r. 8p. 
£1 2s. 4^d. Clounanana, or Clounana, (part) 54a. Ir. 8p. I63. 55d. Commons of the same, 36a. 
2r. 8p. lis. Id. Ballycatrane, part of ye J, plow, of Clounanetemple, 98a. and 32p. £1 9s. 9^d. 
Ballinroge, ailas Ballinemernoge (part), 34a. 3r, 14p. 10s. 7id. Cloughtackabegg, 21a. 3r. 24p. 
63. 7^d. Commons to ye Cloghterkas, 17a. 2r, 5s. Skd. South Cloughterka, 50a. Ir. 24p. 
15s. 3|d. Glascloyne, alias Glasfoyne, part of Cloughterka, 30a. 9s. l^^d. Cloughtecka, alias North 
Cloughtecka, 72a. and 32p. £1 Is. 10|d. bar. Poplebrien, Co. Limerick. Total quantity, 2,064a. 
2r. 22p. plant. (3,344a. Ir. 14p. stat.) Total rent, £31 7s. :Jd. Date, 11th May, 19th year. 
Inrolled, 17th May, 1667. 

This gentleman was ancestor to William Ponsonby Barker, Esq. D.L., of Kilcooly Abbey, Co. 
Tipperary, who holds these estates now. 

> The house chosen by " John Lord Bishop of Limerick," in the City of Limerick, and set out 
to him for seven years, according to the Act of Settlement, together with that small waste plott 
of ground, and 4 ruinous tenements therein, which he rents at £20 per annum, lying on the 
back side of the said dwelling-house, equal with the part thereof, &c. &c. &c. — enacted to be 
annexed unto the See of Limerick for ever, and to be the mansion-house of the Bishop and hi» 
successors — Meriion's Abridgment of the Act 0/ Settlement, c. xH. 



acres taken, and the quality of them,' and then all the soldiers to bring in 
their arrears, and thus, to give every man, by lot, as many acres, as might 
answer the value of the arrears. The names of all that were in arrear were 
taken accordingly, and lots were drawn, as to what part of the kingdom their 
portion should be. In this manner, the whole kingdom was divided among 
the conquerors and the money adventurers. It was also agreed, that the 
Irish should be transplanted from the south to the north, and so to the con- 
trary, '' which did break and shatter that nation in such a manner, that they 
never could make head afterwards .•'^^ Orrery states that Broughill knew 
more about what he did than himseK; but as his Lordship^s papers were burned 
at the conflagration of Lord Orrery^s house at Charleville, by the Irish, they 
never came to hght. 

At this crisis the well known body of Quakers, who had already settled in 
Limerick, did not escape the persecution of Cromwell, as the following letter 
manifests : — 

To Colonel Ingoldsby. 

Sir, — The Council being credibly informed that there are at present in the 
city of Limerick divers persons, commonly called Quakers, who have repaired 
thither out of England and other places, making it their practice to wander 
up and down, seducing divers honest people, neglecting and impoverishing 
their families, troubhng the pubhc peace of the nation, disturbing the con- 
gregations of sober Christians in the worship of God, and with railing 
accusations aspersing and discouraging divers of the godly ministers of the 
gospel in their faithful labours, and thereby bringing into contempt the ordi- 
nances of God, and encouraging evil-minded persons to looseness and pro- 

' Quantity according to the Down Survey made under Sir William Petty of the several 
Counties of Ireland: — 



1 Wicklow 


2 Wexford 


3 Carlow 


4 Kilkenny 


6 Queen's County 


6 King's County 


7 Kildare . 


8 Dublin . 


9 Westmeath 


10 Meath . 


LI Longford 


Total_in Leinster 

. 2,526,778 


1 Cork 


2 Kerry 


3 Limerick. 


4 Clare 


5 Waterford 


6 Tipperary 


Total in'Munster 


Armagh . 

8 Tyrone . 

9 Donegal . 
10 Londonderry 


Total in Ulster 

. 2,735,517 


1 Sligo 


2 Mayo 


3 Galway . 


4 Roscommon 


5 Leitrim . 


Total in Connaught . 2,072,915 

Total in Ireland exclusive of Bogs and Loughs 10,625,142 

Lough Neagh as surveyed by P. Leahy, Esq. C.E. 1812* .... 60,051 

' Orrery's State Letters, Vol. I. p. 39. 

• This eminent Civil Engineer, who afterwards held the oflSce of County Surveyor of Cork, 
East, while one of his sons held that of Cork, West, was father of the Most Rev. Patrick 
Leahy, D.D., Lord Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. 


faneness : — Out of a clue sense whereof, their Lordships have commanded 
me to signify unto you their dishke of such pernicious practices^ and that 
they do (from good grounds) apprehend, that persons committing such mis- 
demeanours do (under colour of such their wild carriage and proceedings) 
advance some designs which may be of dangerous consequence to the public 
good and safety, if not seasonably looked into and prevented ; and do, there- 
fore, desire you to inquire into the truth thereof, and to take speedy and 
effectual course that such persons as are come thither upon that account be 
excluded the garrison, and not permitted to return or reside there. And if 
any of the inhabitants profess themselves such, and shall at any time disturb 
the congregations when assembled for the service and worship of God, or 
otherwise break the public peace, you are then to secure such persons, and 
take care they be proceeded with according to due course of law m such 
cases provided, having due regard to preserve (by all good ways and means) 
the good government of that place, and timely to discountenance and sup- 
press all disorders. 

[Thomas Heebert, Clk. Council.] 
Council Chamber, Dublin, 25th November, 1656.' 

The Quakers suffered in consequence a very severe persecution in Limerick,* 
where several of them suffered imprisonment, and were scourged. Barbara 
Blagdon, a Quakeress, was banished by Colonel Henry Ingoldsby, Governor 
of Limerick. He was aided by Lieut.-Colonel Hurd and Major Ealph 
Wilson in his violence to the Quakers, who first settled in the city two years 
before the above letter was written, and who in 1671 built a meeting-house 
in Creagh Lane. 






" A HEAVY blow and a great discouragement" now awaited the Crom- 
wellians in the death of their darling, who " was hurried to his woe" in 1657, 
bequeathing a title which did not long survive him, to his son Kichard 
Cromwell, Avho wanted the sagacity, the talent, the unscrupulousness, and the 
daring of his father to support a position which demanded at this time more 
even of those qualities than the Protector could lay claim to, to retain his 
hold of power. With the exception of Ludlow and Sir Hardress Waller, 
there were few others who were either able or willing to sustain a tottering' 
dominion. Broughill, Coote, Monk, Lambert, and others, who had raised 
themselves to fortune, if not to fame, on the Protectorate, now began 
to desert a cause which, in more prosperous seasons, had been dear to them. 

• Entries of Letters, &c., A. 30, p. 212. 

* See Jb'iiUer'd Account of the persecutions of the Quakers, &c. 


Limerick, Galway, Clonmel, Carlow, Athlone, and many other cities and 
towns, now in the possession of the Royalists, through the operations of 
Coote and Broughill, only awaited the sign, to pronounce openly in favor of 
Charles II., who was speedily proclaimed king, and presented, not only a loyal 
address, but a present of twenty thousand pounds, with four thousand to the 
Duke of York, and two thousand to the Duke of Gloucester. The Crom- 
weUian confiscations, however, laid the foundation of many famihes in the 
city and county of Limerick, to whom immense grants of land and houses 
were given, which were afterwards confirmed to them by the monarch whose 
father some of them helped to bring to the scaffold, and who now, with a 
weakness and treachery unparalleled in history, betrayed and ruined those 
who fought and bled, and lost aU because of their attachment to his cause.* 
It was thus that those were caressed who had enlisted under the banners of 
the usurper ; whilst the Cathohcs, who expected to see justice done them, 
were compelled to mourn over disappointed hopes, and to bewail the folly of 
placing faith in princes. Whilst the rebelHous regicides were confirmed in 
their broad lands, the ancient possessors were hunted to the fastnesses of 
Connaught, and forced to remain within the Mile End, that is, at the distance 
of a mile from the Shannon, to which they were confined by the Act of 
Settlement ! Broughill was created Earl of Orrery, Coote, Earl of Mount- 
rath; Sir Maurice Eustace, the old friend of the Marquis of Ormond, 
was made Lord High Chancellor ; and Ormond himself who'had surmounted 
all his difficulties and dangers, and now basked in the full effulgence of royal 

^ I have given in the preceding chapter a list of some of those who obtained grants at this 
period, which grants were subsequently confirmed by Act of Charles II. I annex a few others : — 

WUliam Pope obtained large grants in the Liberties of the City of Limerick, amounting in all 
to 900 acres. "^ ^ 

Grant to Eoger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, (enrolled under the Act of Settlement, Nov. 6th, 1666) 
comprised the lands of the manor of Tough, viz. Killaragh, Dromalty, Glauragh, and Tounteriffe 
(part), 788a. Dromsally, 180a. Moybegan, Portenard, Glassragh, and Ryceagh, 304a. Cregan 
and part Cregan, 120a. CuUinagh, and part of do., 72oa. Annagh, 788a. Tobergariffe (part), 
22oa. Lohenbagh (part), 27a. Corastprecoone, or Carantirocoan, 301a. Caporenat Shenagh, 
or Capienahene, 310a. Tearaff and Cullenaghshiffe, or Terehiss and Cullenacliffe, 328a. Clough- 
loghm, 27a. Barony Outhneybeg, Co. Limerick, &c. 

" Grants under the Commission of Grace." Printed folio. 

1684. To Digby Foulkes of various lands in Limerick and Cork. Ps. 5 and 6. 

Grant to John Crips, of estates in the Co. of Limerick, and within the liberties. Id. p. 6. 

Do. to Thomas Maunsell in this County. Id. p. 6. 

Do. to George and Simon Purdon of lands here and in Clare Co. Id. p. 7. 

Do. to Joseph Stepney of lands in Co. Limerick. Id. p. 7. 

Do. to Thady Quin of lands in Clare and Limerick, including weirs and fisheries. Id. p. 8. 

Do. to Joseph Ormsby. Id. p. 8. 

Do. to Thomas Power. Id. p 9. 

Do. to Fiobert Nayley. Id. p. 9. 

Do. to Edward Puce of lands in the Barony of Conello, Id. p. 12. 

Do. to Henry Widdenham. Id. p. 17. 

Do. to Brooke Briges. Id. 18. 

Do. to Patrick Sarsfield. Id. 18. 

1685. To Laurence Clayton, in Cork Co., and in Limerick Co. and City. Id. 34 

Do. in the City of Limerick to Doctor Jeremy Hall. Id. 36. 

Do. to Samuel Burton. Id. 36. 

Do. in Cork and Limerick, to Nicholas Lysaght. Id. 36. 

Do. in the liberties of Limerick and Kilm'allock. Id. 37. 

Do. within the City of Limerick, very extensively, to Archbishop Michael Boyle. Id p 37-8 
— — Do. to Dame Mabell Tynte and to Henry Tynte. Id. p 41 -v-^' o 
g;fg^^°^jJ''Jj"^P°'''^<'"°fl^»^'Sinthi8Co,,withexten«^^ iu Mayo and 
Do. to Daniel Webb. Id. 47. 



sunshine, was raised to a Dukedom, and the Viceroyalty of Ireland, and given 
territories in eight counties.^ 

Thus the cup of hope which had been presented to the lips of the Irish 
Catholics, was rudely dashed from it by hands from which better treatment was 

> Lands granted to the Duke of Ormonde by the Act of Settlement and Court of Claim*. — 

Carte's Ormond, Vol. 11. p. 132. 









Brechindowne, &c 





Balliovren, &c. 




Tullaghmaine, &c. 



Lislin Francs 




Tullomain James. 




Old Fbofbietobs. 
Mr. Kelly 

Mr Nicholas Wogan 
Morris Fitzgerald 
Lord Dunboyne 
George Blackney 
Patrick Walsh 
James Butler 
Ulick Wall 
Edm. Birne 
Gerald Nolan 


Moate, &c. 
5 Rathcoffy, &c. 
I Kilrush, &c. 

Dunboyne, &c. 
(Balcony, &c. 
\ Kilnure, &c. 

Carrigbeg, &c. 
aiilhill, &c. 
-<Kilcorle, &c. 
(_Balliceally, &c. 
'Balligowen, alias Smith'stown' J ^^j^^^ ^^^^^ 
and Ne-w-Church . . 3 

Bathana, &c. 

^Tubrid, &c. 
I Ballynoran . 




Moore-town, &c. 

Borrinduffe, &c. 

Eothloose, &c. 

Knocklosty, &c. 





Deregrath, &c. 


Castle-Moyle, &c. 

Shanbally Duffe 


Bathconne . 

Mr. Archer 

Pierce Shortall 
. Robert Shortall 
, Pierce Butler 
. John AVhite 

Edward Butler 
. Edmond Prendergast 
. David Walsh 
. Nicholas Whyte 
. Thomas Whyte 
. Theo. Butler 
, Tho. Butler 
. Solomon Whyt» 

Edmond Bray 

Morris Keating 

Richard Keating 
, Edmond Butler 
. Walter Butler 
, Pierce Butler 
, Walter Butler 

Sur Richard Everarii 
(Thomas Butler 
\James Butler 
, Walter Hackett 

Richard Birmingham 
, Piers Butler 
, William Butler 

Simon Salt 

Redmond Magrath 

Robert Shee 

Lord Dunboyne 

Richard Comin 

Edmond Hogan 

Dan Ryan 

W. Burke 
. Edm. Heyden 

James Archer 

James Butler 

Lord Ikerryn 

Edmond Heyden 

Richard Bourke 
( W. Kennedy 
\ Philip Glissan. 

* Smith's- town contained 834 acres, and New-Church 116 acres, two roods and eight polea, 
and was granted by the Duke to Robert Walsh and his heirs male, for the rent of X5 a year. 


expected. Ttey were told, when they presented their claims in London, to 
desist from further apphcations, because one of their agents was Sir Nicholas 
PurceU, who was alleged to have subscribed a document by which the agents of 
the Supreme Council of the Confederates were empowered to make an offer of 
the sovereignty of Ireland to the Pope, or any Cathohc prince, provided they 
received essential assistance in the recovery of their civil and religious 

What must we think of him who, described by Sir Eobert Southwell, is 
said to be " the true standard of his own office, regenerating therein those 
pillars of a Church that do at the same time adorn as well as support the 
Holy Fabric,^' — whilst he (Ormond) in reference to his own anomalous 
position, observes, in writing of the Earl of Orrery^s letters and despatches : 
" I know well and so does he, that I am bom with some disadvantages as to 
the present juncture, besides my natural weakness and infirmities, and such 
as I can no more free myself from than they from me. My father and 
mother lived and died Papists, and bred all their children so, and I, by Code's 
merciful Providence was educated in the true Protestant religion, from which 
I never swerved towards either extreme, not when it was most dangerous to 
profess it, and most advantageous to quit it. My brothers and sisters, though 
they were not many, were very fruitful and very obstinate (they call it con- 
stant) in their way ; their fruitfulness has spread into a large alliance, and 
their obstinacy has made it altogether Popish. It would be no small comfort 
to me, had it pleased God it had been otherwise, that I might have enlarged 
my industry to do them good and serve them, more effectually to them, and 
more safely to myself ; but as it is I am taught by nature, and also by instruc- 
tion, that difference of opinion in matters of religion dissolves not the obliga- 
tions of nature, and in conformity to this principle, I own not only what I 
have done, but that I will do my relations of that or any other persuasion 
all the good I can, but I confess at the same time, that if I fuid any of them 
who are nearest to me acting or conspiring rebellion, or against the govern- 
ment, and the religion estabhshed among us, I will endeavour to bring them 
to punishment sooner than the remotest stranger of my blood. I know 
professions of this nature are easily made, and therefore, sometimes little 
credited ; but I claim some belief from my known practice, for I have been 
so unfortunate as to have had kinsmen in rebellion, and so fortunate as to 
see some of them fall when I commanded-in-chief : those that remain, have I 
hope, changed their principles as to rebelhon ; if they have not, I am sure 
they will find I have not changed mine.''''^ Well indeed was he designated 
the unkind Deserter of loyal men and true friends ! 

At this period manufactures were so flourishing in the province of Munster, 
and particularly in Limerick, that Lord Orrery, writing on the 8th of 
December, 1661, to the Duke of Ormond, states " that he could get the 
Munster clothiers to clothe the soldiers there on the credit of the Subsidy 
Bin/-' and states " it was the least of his thoughts that others should be 
clothed and those in the province not.''^^ 

It must be admitted too, that the Duke of Ormond exerted himself with 
very great success to introduce manufactures, particularly of woollens, into 
Carrick-on-Suir and Kilkenny, where they flourished for a long period, and 
where, notwithstanding every impediment, they have not totally ceased to 
this day. 

' Thorpe's Catalogue of the Southwell MSS. * Orrery'3 State Letters. 


In Cromwell^s time and subsequently, up to 1679, trademen^s tokens 
were issued in Limerick. At first they were permitted to circulate owing to 
the absence of sterling coin. In reference to these coins, I find that at a 
meeting of the Corporation, held in 1673,^ it was ordered that the Corpor- 
ation farthings, stamped in 1658, should pass current in the City and 
Liberties, at the rate of 20s. for 18s. There are not many of these coins 
now in existence.^ On the 23rd of October, 1673, these farthings were 
called in by the Corporation and reissued at par. 

So strong was the impression made in France, and throughout Europe 
generally, by the unspeakable injustices which were flagrantly perpetrated 
against the too confiding Catholics of Ireland, by Charles IL, and his 
advisers Lord Clarendon and the Duke of Ormond, that His Most Christian 
Majesty, the King of France, addressed a remonstrance to Charles IL on the 
subject, in which he reminded him of the way in which he (the King of France) 
had treated the Huguenots, whom he himself had treated with perfect impar- 
tiality when their claims were brought before him, taking occasion at the same 
time to acquaint Charles with the feelings, which prevailed universally on the 
subject of the persecution of the Irish people on account of their religion.' 

In this year, during the Mayoralty of Henry Bindon, Sir George Preston 
got a patent for the great Lax weir and fishery of the Shannon* from its 

• The Corporation Book containing the entry is in the British Museum. 

2 I am indebted to Aquilla Smith. Esq. M.D. of Baggot-street, Dublin, for a full list of the 
Tradesmen's Tokens, &c., issued in Limerick between the years 1G58 and 1679 : — 

1. Obv. " Limerick" in the centre. — A Castle. Kev " Clare." — Three towers. 

2. Obv. " Citty of Limerick"— A Castle. Kev. " Change and Charity"— 1658. 

3. Obv. " Limerick Butchers" — A paschal lamb. Eev. " Halfpenny, 1679" — The Butchers' 

4. Obv. " Anthony Bartlett, 1671"— Arms — three fishes fretted in triangle. Eev. " Of Lymrick 
Merchant'' — Three Castles, Id.. 

5. Another similar, but smaller and without Id, 

6. Obv. " John Bell, Mercht." Rev. " In Limrick." 

7. Obv. "John Bennet, Merc." Eev. " Lymrick Penny" — 1668. 

8. Obv. " Edward Clarke"— E.C. Id. Rev. "Of Lymerick, 1670"— A cock. 

9. Obv. " Edward Clarke"— A cock. Rev. " Of Lymerick, 1670"— E. C, i. 

10. Obv. " Rowland Creagh." Rev. " Lymrick, Mercbt." 

11. Obv. "Of Limerick"— B. C. Eev. "Near Key Lane"— 1688. 

12. Obv. "Tho. Linch of Limrick" — Crest of the Butchers' Company, a winged bull. Rev. 
" His Halfpeny Token, 1679"— A harp. 

13. Obv. " Thomas Marten, 1669" — Three castles, two and one. Rev. "Merchant in Lj-m- 
rick"— T. M. 

14. Obv. " Richard Pearce of" — A mortar and pestle. Rev. " Limrick, Apothecar" — R.M.P. 

l.!». Obv. " William Rimpland" — A man dipping candles. Rev. " In Limbricke His half — 
" Peny, 1679." 

16. Obv. " Ed. Wight of Limbrik"- Three castles. Rev. " His Half Peny, 1677"— A ship. 

17. Another similar but of rude workmanship. 

A variety of No. 2 has " City" instead of '• Citty" in Ferrar's plate, fig. 3. 
Dr. Smith has also a small variety of No. 14, and three varieties of No. 1, none of them are 
in good preservation. 

In Dr. Smith's Cabinet: — 

No. 1. Three varieties — two of them engraved in Ferrar's Limerick. 

2 13 

3 14 

4 15 

5 16 

I have some of the above coins ; but my collection is not bj' any means so perfect as that of 
Dr. Smith, who stands deservedly high as an authority on all matters relating to Irish coins. 

3 This letter appears in the " Eecit Exact et Fidele,"&c.," published in Paris, 1696. 

* The Letters Patent to him bear date 27th July, lo" Chas. II. ; in these letters it is set forth 
that " divers fishings of salmon and pike and other fish, and also eels and eel weirs, and divers 



source to the sea. After very lengthened disputes and litigation, a com- 
promise was effected in 1677, when the Corporation gave a sum of £1,500 
to Sir John Preston, who surrendered his patent in consequence. 

The Htigation in reference to Sir George Preston's patent was, as I have 
said, carried on for a long period ; and matters came to light, which if now 
thoroughly known, might cause some changes for the benefit of the pubhc in 
connection with this great fishery. In the British Museum, there is a 
minute book of the Corporation of Limerick, from the year 1672 to 1685, 

mills in and upon the River Shannon, as well belonging to Corporations as other Proprietors, 
&c. &c. &c., are devolved and fallen to us by the delinquency, forfeiture, attainder, or rebellion, 
of the several proprietor and proprietors of the said mills and fishings * * ■» * 

and whereas we retain a gracious sense of the many services performed to us by our trusty and 
weU-beloved subject, Sir George Preston, Knight, and also of his great sufferings in our service," 
&c. * * The grant is then formally given and set forth of the fishing of pike and salmon 
in the great salmon weir, called the Las weir, and all other fishings in the Eiver Shannon. 

The fisheries of Limerick have been for many ages invested with an extraordinary amount of 
interest, which has not ceased in the slightest degree up to the present moment. We have seen 
(p. 48), that on the 12th of Januarj', 1200, King John granted to William De Braosa the honor 
of Limerick, &c., retaining among other things, in waters and mills, in fish-ponds, and fisheries 
and ponds, in ways and pathways, and in all other places and things to that honor partaining, 
&c. We have seen (page 54) the grant was made to Edmund Bishop of Limerick ; and (pp. 56-61 
and 62) the commission to Geoffrey de Genvylle, and extracts from the Pipe Bolls rendering 
several accounts in relation thereto — down to the year 1344. 

I will now summarise the several other important grants, charters, inquisitions, &c., which 
constitute the title to the Fishery of Limerick. A letter of which the following is an extract was 
addressed, 6th Edward the 1st, to the Chancellor, by Robert Saint Edmund : — 

" Be it kno-vvn to Sir Robert Burnel, by the Grace of God, Bishop of ( ) Chancellor 

of our Lord the King of England, his Serjeant, Robert de Seynt Emun, who has been dwelling in 
the service of our Lord the King in Ireland for sixteen years, as has been witnesssd by the 
Justiciaries and by the people who have been of the Council of our Lord the King, and still are, 
that is to sa3% from the time Sir James de Hardeleye, who passed into Ireland with the Justiciary, 
and brought the aforesaid Robert with him, and retained him in the service of our Lord the King, 
for one Hundred pence by the year and two Robes, — of which the aforesaid Robert received in the 
time of Sir James the two Robes, and nothing of the one Hundred pence." 

The letter goes on to state that having shewn the King at Dover the services he rendered, he 
prayed that he might have the weirs and the fisheries in the water of Limerick, for so much rent 
by the year as they could be valued at. That the King complied, and that the Justiciary having 
received the Royal Command, the Treasurer delivered the weirs to Robert, without ha^nng Inquest 
taken or extent made. That said Robert paid 20 marks yearly, for that an Inquest had been 
made when that was ascertained to be the value, but that he was charged ^"'25 by the year, and 
therefore, that the difference may be remitted. 

13th Edward 1st., 20th June — The King issued a mandate, that said Edmund should be 
exonerated from any sum over 20 marks. 

Other grants were made by Edward the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, to different parties for short terms, 
subject to certain rents. 

1st Henry 5th, 1414, January. — On this day the King regranted what had been granted by 
Kings John and Edward, and among other emoluments the profit of a certain fishery, which is 
called Lex weir, with its appurtenances, to the mayor and commonalty and their successors, for 

2nd Henry 6th, 1423, 12th December — By charter of this date, Henry 6th conferred the 
foregoing charter. 

1576, 2nd March, 19th Elizabeth — The Queen granted a grant for a lease to Edmond Molj-neux, 
gentleman, of the weirs commonly called the Fisher's Stent, near the City of Limerick, which do 
lie from the Lax weir, or common weir in the east part, until the river nigh Castle Donel in the 
west part, with all the customs, duties, profits, commodities, and emoluments to them, and every 
of them pertaining and belonging, &c., parcel of her Majesty s inheritance and of long time concealed 

To hold for 21 years, at 53s. and 4d. Irish Currency. 

1582, 19th March, 25th Elizabeth. — On this day the Queen granted an extensive charter to 
the citizens of Limerick, and the fisheries as follows : — " Moreover, we of our special Grace, 
" certain knowledge, and mere motion, do for us, our heirs and successors, give and grant to the 
" said mayor, bailiff, and citizens of the said citj', and their successors for ever, all those weirs 
" and pools in the waters of Shannon within the liberties of said cit}', '' called the Lex weirs and 
" Fisher's Stent, with all and singular, their profits, members, rights and appurtenances, and to 
" have, hold and enjoy all and singular the said franchises, jurisdictions, privileges, perambulations, 


from wliich, among other items of important intelligence, I learn, tliat on 
the 2nd of October, 1675, Sir George Preston presented a petition to the 
Common Council, when it was declared that " from time immemorial there 
has been a passage for boats and cots through the Lax weir/-' This is now 
a startling fact ; and goes to show at all events, that when in years after- 
wards, this same Corporation well nigh stopped up the usual gap altogether, 
and when afterwards, they were compelled to open it — they invented and 
employed every possible expedient, to render the gap inoperative for its 
proper purposes, and thus perpetrated an outrage of flagrant injustice, robbing 
the fishermen, in the assumption of a power to which it could lay no claim. 
In the following year were seen too blazing stars — the plague soon came — 
then fire and bloody wars, as White quaintly expresses it.^ About this time 
a branch of the Brown family settled in the parish of Kilpeacon, within a 
short distant of the city, on a marriage with a daughter of the Knight of 
Glen. Of this historic race the genealogy will be found in the note.^ 

*' grounds and waste pieces of land, called the new Stent, or new extent, called Lex weirs and 
" Gurgites, Fisher's Stent, &c.," yielding year!}' to us, our heirs, and successors, for and out of 
the said weirs on the said water of Shannon, called Fisher's Stent aforesaid, 6s. 8d. 

1600, 3rd March, 6th James 1st. — By this charter previous patents were confirmed, granting 
also admiralty Jurisdiction and Royal fish. 

1615, 18th March, 12th James 1st. — An inquisition was taken at Limerick, whereby it was 
ascertained that half a plough land lay in Castle Donel, alias Cratellaghmore. It was by this 
inquisition the western boundary of the Fisher's Stent was ascertained, on the trial of Gabbett a. 
Clancy and Dwyer, at Summer assizes 1841, and Spring assizes 184:2, at Limerick, and again in 
the case of Malcomson a. O'Dea, in the Queen's Bench in 1858, when there was a verdict for the 
petitioner, which was affirmed by the House of Lords in 1863. 

(I give this important inquisition at pp. 138, 139, 140.) 

1662, 27th July, 13th Charles 2nd. — The King granted unto Sir George Preston, knight, the 
fishing of pike and salmon, &c., in the great salmon weir called Las weir, for ever, at £5 a-year. 

During the Commonwealth the citizens were obliged to assume a rent of £165 for the fishery, 
for which they were returned in arrear, but as appears by an enrolment of the Communia Roll, 
(1665) they presented their case to the Equity side of the Court of Exchequer, setting forth 
their different charters, and Sir William Domville, the Attorney General appearing on behalf of 
the Crown and admitting the facts, by an order of the date on margin, the arrears were 
discharged Trinity Term, 1665. 

1669, 29th May, 21st Charles 2nd By letters patent of this date, after reciting of the 13th 

Charles II. the King regrants to Sir George Preston all the aforesaid weir, called Lex weir, &c. 
A great deal of litigation took place between Sir George Preston and the Corporation in the Court 
of Chancery, in which his right was disputed. 

29th. The King in order to give Sir George a better claim, gave him another patent of the 
date 1677, 9th February, Charles 2nd. 

A compromise was subsequently entered into between the litigants, by which, in consideration 
of £1500 paid Sir George, the Corporation acquired such interest as he possessed. 

1 White's MSS. 

2 In a MS. of the O'Lynnin's, Lynegar or Linacre, quoted in Hardiman's History of Galway, 
(p. 10,) the following account of the Brown family is given : — " The genealogies of the Brownes 
of Ely or Ballyalcain, in the County of Wexford, and partly of the Browns of Galway, Limerick 
and Waterford," — Christopher and Richard Browne were the sons of Sir Mathew Browne of 
Ballyawcane, by his first wife Anne, the daughter of Sir John Redmond, who lived near Bag 
and Bun, in the County of Wexford. By his second wife Cordula, daughter of Sir John Hoare, 
of Shenakill, near Dungarvan, in the County of Waterford, he had issue six sons — 1st, 
Christopher. — 2nd, John, who went for Connaught and settled himself at the Neale where he 
married Mor ny Maille, daughter and heiress of Donal O'Maille, Lord of Um Maille, in the 

County of Mayo whose issue still remain, and one called Bounach na heille. — 3rd, Walter, who 

went to the County of Limerick, and settled in Kilpeacon, near Limerick ; he married Catherine, 
daughter and heiress of Sir John Fitzgerald, Knight of the Glen. — 4th, Edward Browne, who 
settled at KUmeadan near Waterford, and married Anne Power, daughter and heiress of John 

Power 5th, Sir John Browne, settled near Galway, and married Bevawn ny Flahertie, daughter 

of IMurrough O'Flahertie of West Connaught, from whom is descended Sir Dominick Browne, 
whose issue now inherit a considerable estate in and about Galway, and in the County of Mayo. 
The Browne family of Aney are a different family. Queen Elizabeth granted the Hospital of 
Aney to Sir Valentine Browne, who built a noble Castle at Hospital, which Castle is now in ruins. 
Sir Valentine's son, Sir Thomas, married Mary eldest daughter and co-heiress of William Apsley 


In 1664, Roger Boyle was made Governor of Limerick, and constable 
of the Castle of Limerick. Eichard Earl of Cork, created Lord Baron of 
Broghill, the 28th of February, in the 2nd year of Charles I. and Earl of 
Orrery the 25th of March in the 12th of Charles II. was famous for his 
literary acquirements, and the author of Mustajilia, said to have been one of 
the best plays written in the 17th century : was President of Munster in 
1660. In 1663 he obtained a patent for markets and fairs, to be held 
for ever in his two villages of Eothgogran and Ballymartra — and afterwards 
procured the two places to be raised into boroughs which returned four 
Members to the ParHament of Ireland, with the nomination of Eecorders, 
Town Clerks, Clerks of the Markets and other ofiicers, to him and his heirs 
for ever.^ Soon after the re-appointment of the Duke of Ormonde to the Lord 
Lieutenancy, Lord Orrery was enabled to supply him with information of a 
conspiracy which had been discovered amongst the military, to seize the Castle 
of Dubhn, in consequence of which order the Magistrates of Limerick, as 
weU as of other cities of Munster, were commanded to clear these localities 
of ^'^ fanatics^^ and of suspected, or as they were styled "needless papists;" 
when Lord Orrery, following up the cautious policy of securing the strong- 
holds, addressed a particular correspondence to the Lord Lieutenant on the 
condition and requirements of the city and garrison of Limerick. ^ 

It appears intelligence was received from that Holland, General Ludlow was 
expected to take the command, and Limerick was to be seized by one Captaui 
Walcott, who by a bribe of £300 had secured the co-operation of one of the 
Serjeants in the castle. In consequence of these troubles. Lord Ormond 
made an expedition to Munster to examine the coast defences, which were 
expected to be soon required to resist an invasion of the French, and the 
militia were called out. The Duke of Ormond in his progress visited Limerick, 
which he praised as a most important place ; and here he was received with 
unusual pomp and splendoui- — the Mayor, Sir William King, to whom he had 
assigned such immense grants of land, being very ostentatious in his display 
of good wiU to his benefactor and the Earl of Barrymore carrying the sword of 
state before him. Soon after this juncture Lord Orrery, in 1666, wrote to 
the duke, setting forth that as governor of his majesty's castle and City of 
Limerick, the pay was £10 by the year, but there was a perquisite belonging 

of Limerick, by his wife Annabella Browne, eldest daughter of John Browne, Master of Aney, 
and Catherine O'Ryan, his wife. Joan, the sister of Mary, was the first wife of Richard Boyle, 
the first Earl of Cork. The walls of the Ancient Church yet remain, and in a niche on tha 
north side of the high altar, is a rudely shaped statue of a Knight in alto relievo, in sword and 
buckler, which is said to be that of the founder. Kenmare Castle is near the village. 

' Aaron Crossly's Peerage of Ireland, p. 57. " 

* In one of his letters he states, that his majesty's " store house" and magazine in the castle 
of Limerick is capable of retaining all requisite arms, with a small train fit for a little army, 
although represented by his Lordship, as " so hugely out of repair," that if not speedily repaired, 
it was apprehended that it might fall and do much mischief. The two towers which made the 
gate house of his majesty's castle, and which had been floored and roofed by " the usurpers," 
are described by him, as having at that time fallen very much to decay, and the guard-house 
which had been made by the same usurpers, was so much out of order, tliat the soldiers within 
were wetted by every shower. Two houses in the castle, one for oificers' quarters, and the other 
intended to accommodate thirty soldiers, which were buUt by the same usurpers, are also specified 
as being much out of repair. Fourteen pounds his Lordship deems suflicient to repair the side 
walls, forming the avenue to the castle gate, and to construct at their extremity a small ravelin 
of sawed palisadoes, which he states would be a great security to the place which had no pro- 
tection, and was consequently liable to be surprised, both on the side of Thomond gate and that 
of the city. He states that " St. John's citadel is in pretty good condition, and the new 
bulwark in the kings castle which is filled up with earth, and which is next to the city, three 
pounds will repair ; of forty guns, great and small, which arc at Limerick, there are but three 
mounted as they should be, two of which are small brass guns." 


to the constable of the castle which is the profit of the king's part of the 
island. He states that the city stands upon the west part of the island ; the 
east part is kept for the grazing of the town cattle, and a httle spot of it 
enclosed and made a bowling green. He alleges that he gives the perquisites 
to his own deputy governor, and lets the green for £10 a-year, and the grazing 
one year with another amounts to £28.^ His lordship proceeds — "If by 
your Grace's favor his majesty would give me a lease of his share of the 
island for ninety-nine years, I would build on it, which would be an enlarge- 
ment, beautify and strengthen the city, and after some years an advantage 
to me and my son, — but that whosoever succeeds in the government may be 
no loser by my grant, I shall willingly submit to pay to the crown, or to the 
constable for the time being, during my lease of ninety-nine years £38 a-year 
after my decease, which is as much as unbuilt it now yields. The crown will be 
no loser for ninety-nine years. The crown will for ever have the benefit of 
my building. The city also will thereby be much enlarged, beautified, and 

Ireland at this time was in a miserable condition,^ being deprived of the 
usual trade with England, by prohibitory duties, and disabled from carrying 
on any abroad, not only on account of want of sliippiug, but of the war 
with France and Holland. Limerick sufl'ered terribly. A bill for prohibit- 
ing Irish cattle, which was opposed by the Protestant Bishop of Limerick, 
Dr. W. Fuller, by the Honourable Mr. Eobert Boyle, by Sh- W. Petty, Sir 
Eobert Southwell, who attended the committee, but who were refused a 
copy or notes of the bill, passed the House of Commons with indecent 
haste, by a majority of thirteen, though the king was opposed to it ; 
but as his majesty was greatly in want of money he dared not disoblige his 
faithfid. Commons. The Lords, however, were not in such a hurry to pass 
it; the Duke of York and the Lord Chancellor spoke against it, and the 
king declared publicly more than once, that his conscience would not allow 
him to give that bill the royal assent.^ 

The result was, that the report of the committee appointed to consider the 
act was delayed until the parliament was prorogued. In the meantime, such 
was the dangerous condition of the kingdom that Ormonde beheved it im- 
perative on him to use every means to counteract their operations. For this 
purpose he spared no expense to procure proper intelhgence to assist him to 
provide for the defence of the kingdom, and with this view he sent Captain 
Arthur and Captain James Archer to France and the Low Countries, to get 
intelhgence of the negociations carried on Avith those powers by the disaffected. 
From these agents he learned that there was no disposition on the part of 
the King of France or his ministers to hearken to the solicitations of the 
persecuted Irish, who had endeavored to induce them to make a descent 
upon Ireland — which it appears was exactly the view that Orrery took of it, 
though he did think it lilvcly that the French would send a small force with 
a good supply of arms and ammunition, to secure some position near the sea, 
from which the Irish could be supplied with munitions of war. It was 
Orrery's own intention, directly he had heard of the French landing, to seize 
and burn all the boats from Limerick to Looj) Head, in order to cut off 
communication between the Irish of Clare and Connaught with the rest. 
In a letter addressed to Ormoud,' May 28, 1666, after describing the priu- 

' Orrery's State Letters, 1 p., 276 » Carte's Ormond, 2 vol, 2 p., 323. 

» Carte, vol. 2, 322. 


cipal military positions between Cork and Limerick, he states his intention 
to place strong parties in Mallow and Limerick, a precaution on which, added 
to the arrest of the chiefs of '' the fanatics and western Irish," he rehed for 
the prevention of the enemies^ designs. 

In the June of the same year, he announces to the Duke that Myles Eeilly, 
with seven or eight hundred Irish, had run into rebellion, which he says he 
does not suppose he would have been so mad as to do if he Avere not sure of 
succours from abroad or from home.^ In consequence of this intelligence, he 
ordered the mayors and governors of Limerick and Cork, as the two chief 
fortresses of the province, to seize on aU the arms in the hands of Catholics 
within these garrisons, and to adopt the same course towards " the fanatics/'' 
He also issued orders to expel such persons from both cities, crowds of 
whom, he says, had come into them, to the endangering of the fortresses, 
taking advantage of the Hcense granted to such of the Irish as traded by 
sea, or were otherwise " needful or civil men/^^ 

At this time OiTery received a seasonable and welcome assurance from 
Colonel Daniel O^Bryan of Clare, that he was ready to suppress any rising 
of the Irish that might take place in that County, m which the Colonel 
informed him there were many HI inchncd Irish. ^ It was in the same year, 
1666, that a plot was disclosed to the Duke of Ormonde by Captain 
Oliver, a gentleman of the County Limerick, the alleged object of which 
was the removal of the King and Lords, the restoration of the Long 
Parliament, several of whose members were said to be imphcated, and the 
substitution of a ^^ sober ministry for bishops.""' The conspirators, it was 
added, expected assistance.^ They were of course Cromweliians. 

I have already referred to Ormondes exertions to introduce the woollen 
manufacture into Ireland, in which he was successful, as also the manufacture 
of hnen :^ this was in 1667, a year rendered stiU further remarkable by the 
occurrence of a most \dolent storm and a spring tide, which did not ebb for 
fourteen hours, and which, according to AVhite's MSS. rose to the Court- 
house in Quay Lane, forced up one of the arches of BalFs Bridge, over- 
flowing the shops and houses thereon, carrying away entire houses and quan- 
tities of com, levelling the banks of the river and wrecking several vessels. 

The sequel of these events has been thus chronicled in the homely doggrel 
of Davis's MSS.— 

" A drought excessive came, it was so great, 
The Shannon from the city did retreat ; 
The Mayor and many more npon dry ground. 
Outside the walls on foot did walk around." 

> Orrery's Letters. 2 Ibid. 

» In a letter addressed to the same from Charleville, and dated June 6th, 1666, Lord Orrery- 
announces the receipt of important intelligence from the Bishop of Meath, confirming information 
■which he had previously received from some of the natives. The intelligence refers to a great 
meeting of the Irish Clergy on the arrival of the Jesuit Father Harris, stated to have been sent 
by the Catholic Primate Reilly from France, and to considerable meetings, which it was alleged 
were to be held in that month, to hear the Jesuit's message and advice, and to be assured by him 
of the speedy arrival of forces, arms, and ammunition, with money in the west, as well as several 
other things of a similar character. The meeting place appointed for Munster he says was 
Macroimpe (Macroom), where he intended to have one of his people present ; and to show the 
strenuous efforts made by the clergy to raise money for insurrectionary purposes, he says that 
under the cloak of pious uses, many great sums had been raised by them, especially in the west 
of Munster, " insomuch that poor servants had been compelled to pay their shillings and six- 
pences." The object of these contributions, namely, the raising of a rebellion, he surmises were 
deemed " pious uses." 

* Orrery's State Letters, Vol. IL pp. 7 & 8. « Orrerv's State Letters, Vol. I. p. lSl-2. 

« Carte's Ormond, Vol. II. p. 343. 


A similar occurrence, we may add, happened in the Shannon at Athlone 
some years ago, when the waters were driven back from their channel, and 
the bottom exposed, on which occasion many curious antiquarian remains 
were found; and more recently still, in the summer of 1864, the bed of the 
Shannon at Killaloe became quite dry for the length of the day during a high 
gale of wind, when trout and salmon were taken in abundance as they lay 
without water. 

Throughout this unfortunate reign, the discontent and dissatisfaction of 
the people throughout Ireland, and particularly in Limerick, were extreme : 
as we proceed, it will be seen that terrible persecution was suffered by those 
who expected freedom of conscience at least from the government, but who 
were trampled upon in the most outrageous manner, by those who deceived, 
betrayed and persecuted them with unrelenting vengeance. 

The proceedings of the Corporation at this period (1670), show how ill 
at ease that body was. An apphcation was made to King Charles II. for a 
renewal of the Charter of James, and for a further extension of the privi- 
leges which were thereby conferred on the citizens. A reference was made 
to the Irish Master of the Eolls to report to the king on the matter; the 
report was made to the Lord Lieutenant; and in it the contents of the 
Charter of James were set forth, and the attention of the Viceroy was 
directed to the " New Eules and Orders for the Eegulation of Corporations 
in Ireland,^^ then recently introduced. The report further prayed the Lord 
Lieutenanf's directions as to which of said " New Eules and Directions," 
were to be inserted in the proposed new Charter to Limerick — " such as 
might best consist with His Majesty's service and the good of the said Cor- 
poration.'" This report, which is dated the 13th February, 1671, was imme- 
diately followed by a proclamation of the New Eules for the government of 
the Corporation. By the first of these rules, the approbation of the Lord 
Lieutenant and Council was made necessary to the appointment of the cor- 
porate officers of Mayor, Sheriffs, Eecorder and Town Clerk, within ten days 
after their election. By the second, the oath of supremacy was required 
from all such corporate officers. By the third, the election of all corporate 
officers was taken away from the body of freemen and vested in the common 
council, and nothing was permitted to be discussed in the general assembly 
of freemen, or court of D^Oyer Hundred, which had not previously passed 
the common council; and this under pain of disfranchisement. By the 
fourth, the admission of Protestant settlers in the city of Limerick to the 
freedom of the Corporation was provided for, as in the other corporate towns 
in Ireland. 

Another attempt was made in 1674, to obtain a new Charter, for which a 
sum of money was subscribed by those interested. Agents too were employed, 
but the attempt failed. In 1671, it should be stated, a proclamation for 
restoring aU banished merchants to their ancient freedoms in aU corporations 
in Ireland, was made in Limerick ; and in the following year, a custom 
which is rarely observed now a days is noticed, viz, that of John Bouria, 
the Mayor of Limerick, having gathered all the boys of the city, and brought 
them two days with him to show them the city bounds, and point out the 
extent of the county of the city. In this year also, John Halpin having been 
chosen Sheriff, he continued iu office 27 days ; but because he would not 
take the oath of supremacy he was deposed. He disputed the point in 
Dublin, before the Lord Lieutenant, but to no purpose, for he was obliged 
to yield and lay down his office.' James Arthur, bom at Limerick, who had 

' White'* MSS. 


become a Dominican at Salamanca, where lie studied, and was subsequently 
professor of Divinity in Coimbra, died this year in Lisbon ; he wrote " Com- 
mentaria in Totam fere Sti Thomse Summam," published in two vols ., folio, 
in 1665. He was preparing ten vols, more for the press when he died. 
Another James Arthur, also a Dominican, died hi 1689.1 

As showing how the Corporation got on at this period, the following items 
are of interest :^ — 2 October, 1672, Maurice Wall, shoe-maker, admitted free 
on payment of 2s. 6d. fine. The beadles were allowed £3 each for previous 
year, and £4 each for present year in which also it was 

" Eesolved and ordered, upon the petition of Edmund Pery, Esq., to be 
admitted a member of this Council of this city, in like manner as his pre- 
decessors, in right of St. Mary's House, enjoyed such privilege as a mayor's 
peere ; that it be referred to the Eecorder to consider of his demand, right, 
and report. The mayor was authorised to nominate the comptroller for the 

14 October, 1672 — ^The petty customs of In Gate and Out Gate at St. 
Johns's Gate let for one year, for £100 10s.. These customs are set forth: — 

A Pack of Wool 3d. 

Bag of Hops ... ... ... ... 3d. 

Pack of Cloth 3d. 

Firkin of Butter Id. 

&c., &c. 

Hogg ^d. 

Sheepe ... ... ... ... ... ^d. 

Aquavitse-Pot ... ... ... ... 3d. 

&c., &c. 
Same customs at Key Gate, let for £20. 
At Thomond Gate, £70 10s. 

The net fishing let for one year, from March 1, 1673, for £60 10s., over 
and above all duties payable to mayor. 

A (foreign?) Protestant stranger made free on payment of 20s. 
Aliens, Denizens, and Freemen paid different rates of customs — thus, for a 
hogshead of salmon they paid respectively 8d., 6d., 4d. 

The mayor having in 1671 made persons free, the Corporation declared 4 
December, 1672, that "such act is destructive of the power of this Corpo- 
ration,"*' and voted such freemen to be no freemen. 

Edmund Pery was elected common councillor 30 June, 1673, but with no 
reference to his previous claim. 

1673 — The gallows ordered to be removed to the accustomed place on 

Salaries — Sword-bearer ... ... ... £15 

Serjeant-at-arms ... ... 3 

Beadles ... ... ... ... 3 

o J. r n-u 1, r for Clock 1 „ (was this to Httle 

Sexton of Church | -g^ | . . . 3 -^^^ Barrington?) 

Keep of 2 Clock 8 

Water BaHiff 2 

In 1673 this year, William York, a Dutchman, and ancestor of the 
Stamers of Carnelly, County Clare, being mayor, began to build the 
Exchange ; and York being again chosen mayor, it is said that he finished it 

> Wbita'i MSS. ' From Corporation Book in British Mu£«am. 


at his own cost and bestowedyit on the city; and that he greatly contri- 
buted towards remaking the ring of bells in St. Mary's Cathedral, which 
were this year recast, and that he likewise set up the chimes.' On the 
]4th March, 1673, peace being proclaimed in Limerick between the 
Enghsh and Dutch, the new bells of the cathedral first rang on the occasion, 
while the Mayor and Corporation in their robes rode through the city, the 
nnlitia marched under anns, and great rejoicings ensued. The Earl of Essex 
had previousiy sent down the "New Eules" for the regulation of the Cor^Dora- 
tion, and it was under these that William York was elected Mayor for the 
second time as above referred to. 

Thomond Bridge and BalFs Bridge had been so much decayed, that the 
Corporation, by the advice of the Mayor, determined that freemen should be 
deprived for one year of their exemption from toll, so as to aid in the cost of 
the repairs;^ and hence the commemoration of the event hi the couplet 
quoted below. 

The Market, which ever since the surrender of the city to Ireton had been 
held outside John's Gate, was this year removed into the city. This market 
was at the Eastern extremity of Mungret-street, and was taken down in 
October, ISOl.^ 

So many proclamations were issued out in 1678 against the Catholics, and 
so many priests and friars were transported to France and Spain, that any 
thing hke it was never known before. It was this year that the Eev. 
Jaspar White, Parish Priest of St. John's, was taken at the altar by a 
lieutenant of foot, in his vestments, whilst saying mass, and was in that 
posture brought through the streets to the guard-house, where he was kept 
two hours, until he was released by the Governor, Sir WiUiam^ King. To 
increase the feehng against the Cathohcs, they reported that King Charles 
was '' poisoned by the papists." The continued persecutions of the Catholics 
in England and Ireland made many of them fly the kingdom, and seek shelter 
in France and Spain, and many fled to Maryland.* 

Edward Pery, Esq., at the Common Council, held 35th June, 1677, claimed 
in right of St. Mary's house to vote next to the mayor, and to have two 
voices. It was decided that the Protestant Bishop (who was present) should, 
as a peer, vote before him. But his other claims were agreed to. So he 
voted before Sh H. Ingoldsby, Bart., Sir Wm. King, Knt., and Sir George 
Ingoldsby, Knt.^ 

13th October, 1677. The customs of St. John's, and the other southern 
gates, let for a year at £172. 

' The weight of these six bells, says White (MSS.) are as follows : — 

cwt. qrs. lbs. cwt. qrs. lbs. 

First bell weighs ... 7 1 14 Fourth bell weighs 14 1 

Second bell 9 10 Fifth bell „ 21 3 9 

Third bell ., 10 2 4 Sixth bell „ 7 3 7 

2 He (York), had the following inscription cut on a stone and placed over Thomond Gate, 
which was a castellated solid stone building at the Thomond side of the Bridge, and the draw- 
bridge was placed between it and the stone or ancient bridge, as appears by a map of the city 
taken in 1641 :— 

The Freeman's Libertys, without tax or rate, 
Repaured this Place — the Thomond Bridge and Gate. 
Aldeksian York, Mayor. 

» White's MSS. and Dr. Young's note. * ^^^^- , . , , 

* 17th May, 1675, Robert Johnston appointed Mayor's Cook, on the accustomed stipend of 

£10 per annum, and a linen cloak yearly. The judge's lodgings this assizes cost £18. The 

usual assizes only £6. 


After long disputes with Sir G. Preston, the Lax-weir being finally made 
over to the Corporation, they let the fishings, 29th Jan., 1679, for £284 5s. 
a-year, " all members of this council to have a salmon or more to eat in the 
weir-house castle at any time for iiothing.^^ All freemen were to have as 
many salmon as they could eat in the castle, at 9d. each.^ 

William Yorke, dying in oflice, a new election was made, 2nd April, 1679, 
when Mr. Pery gave a double vote, which the Judges of Assize decided to 
be illegal, and Sir Samuel Foxon voted for himself. The votes were equal ; 
but by striking off Su* SamueFs, and one of Mr. Pery^s, (given to him) Sir 
Wilham King was declared elected. 

Trade was kept very much in the hands of the freemen. A Waterford 
merchant bought a cargo of wheat in Sligo — it was driven to Limerick by 
stress of weather, and sold to one who was not a freeman — so the mayor 
seized it as " foreign bought and foreign sold ;'' and it was only restored on 
the pui'chaser agreeing to sell one Limerick barrel to every one who would 
buy it, at the price at which he had bought it wholesale.^ 

There being a great vacancy of resident aldermen and burgesses in this year, 
Wdliam Gribble and Anthony Bartlett were elected aldermen by the Council 
on the 6th of October. 

Standish Hartstonge, Eecorder, being made Baron of the Exchequer in 
1680, Henry Turner, Esq., nephew to the Lord Chancellor, was elected, on 
his recommendation, in his place on the 13th March, 1680. Hartstonge 
had held the oflice since the Restoration.* 

Bigotry and fanatical hatred of Catholicity were now raging throughout the 
city. On the 29th of June, 1679, being Ascension day, the Pope's picture 
was dragged up and down the river Shannon in a boat, and afterwards, with 
great shoutings was publicly burned in Limerick. This was duruig the 
mayoralty of Sir William King, who was the first mayor who quartered aU the 
soldiers on the Catholics without putting any on the Protestants, and that 
out of prejudice, because the Catholics cUsputed in law for their freedom.^ 

On the 3rd of November, 1683, the greatest frost that had ever been 
previously known in Ireland began, and it continued until the 9th of February ; 
the frost was seven or eight feet thick on the river Shannon ; all the lakes 
and rivers of Ireland were in like manner frozen ; men, women, cattle and 
carriages went over the rivers on the ice; people frequently walked on it from 
the King's Island to Parteen. In the following year William Gribble being 
mayor, he went to Scattery Island, to exercise his jurisdiction among the 
herring boats for the city duties, which were 1000 herrings and 1000 oysters 
out of each boat (a most exorbitant tax). This he reduced to 500 a piece.® 

The death of King Charles II. occurred in London on the 6th of February, 
1684; he was a prince who in his exile acknowledged great obligations to 
the Irish ; on his accession to the throne the Irish reasonably expected to be 
restored to their estates, which they forfeited for fighting for him and his 
father, but he followed the pernicious advices of Clarendon, viz. to make 
friends of his enemies by gratifying them, and that he could always make 
sure of his old friends. Adopting this advice he left the Cromwellians in 

' Corporation Minute Book in the British Museum. 2 \\,\^_ 3 Ibid. Mem. — That 

freemen of Bristol pay no inward or outward tolls in Limerick. 3rd ApriJ, 1680. 

♦ Standish Hartstonge Esq., of Bruff, one of the Barons of the Court of Exchequer, was 
created a Baronet in 1081. The Baronetcy eventually descended to Sir Henry, who, dying 
without issue, the Bruff estate devolved on (the daughter of his sister) Mary Ormsby, -wife of 
the first Earl of Limerick. 

» White's MSS. « Ibid. 



possession of the estates, and the betrayed Irish who were fools to part with 
an inch of ground for him or one of his family. Though he was a Cathohc 
in his heart and died one, yet he countenanced the most violent persecutions 
agamst those of that profession, and his Avhole reign was a scene of plots, 
persecutions, and executions of the poorer CathoHcs, as well of holy prelates, 
priests, and friars, and of Catholic gentlemen, &c. &c. He had great wit 
and penetration, but his debauched life did not permit him to utilise either. 
It was justly said of him that he never said a foolish thing, nor ever did a 
wise thing. 1 In his reign the glorious martyr Archbishop Plunkett of 
Armagh suffered a most cruel and ignominious death. 

On the day King Charles II. died, his brother James Duke of York and 
Albany was proclaimed king in London. On the ilth he was proclaimed in 
Dublin ; on the 13th being Sunday he was proclaimed king in Limerick. 
The Mayor, Eichard Smith, the Sheriffs, the Governor, Sir William King, the 
Protestant Bishop and Clergy in their surj)lices and robes, and aU the Cor- 
poration in their robes were all on horseback. The trades and militia walked 
with their colours, and great rejoicings were shown on the occasion. This 
king publicly professed the Catholic faith. ^ 

Ilobert Smith being Mayor in 1685, he flagged the City Court-house, 
made the jury-room at the east end of it, and framed in the place of judi- 
cature ; he newly built the King's Island gate and tower, and with his own 
hands he cut on the stone fixed over the gate at the island side these words, 
"Eeedificata 1° Jacobi 3'^* Eoberto Smith Pretore, sumptibus civium.''^ He 
also, at his own cost, set up in the Exchange, a brass table standing on a 
short pillar, and himself engraved this inscription on it : " Ex dono Eoberti 
Smith majoris Limericencibus civibus.''^ It was afterwards placed in the new 
Exchange, and was called " The Nail,'"' being intended for a public place for 
paying down money on, though not applied to that use.^ 

On the 1st of August, same year, Lieut.-Coloucl Anthony Hamilton* came 
to Limerick as Governor, in place of Sir Wdliam King, who was deposed. 
HamUton was the first Governor who for 35 years before publicly went to 
Mass. On the 21st of September Lord Clarendon, who was Lord Lieutenant 
of Ireland, an-ived in Limerick ; for an entire month before ten troops of 
horse were quartered on the inhabitants ; they were the first army who, for 
forty years before Avent publicly to Mass. Mass was puMicly said in the 
yard of the King's Castle, and in the citadel near St. John's gate for the 
army who every Sunday went to hear it, marching thither in order with their 
drums and hautboys. The Lord Lieutenant remained in Limerick but two 
nights and one day.^ 

' White's MSS. 2 Ibid. 

3 White's MSS. This nnil or brass table is now in the Town Hall of Limerick. 

* Anthony Hamilton, Esq., was appointed Governor of Limerick after Sir William King — 
he is set down among the general officers of King James's army — his brother, John, was killed 
at Aiighrim. Richard behaved with great spirit at the battle of the Boyne. One of his sisters 
was married to Sir Donoiigh O'Urien, ancestor of Lord Inchiquin. The Duchess of Berwick, one 
of whose sisters, Charlotte, was married to Lord Clare, ancestor of the Marquis of Thomond, 
which Lord Clare was killed at the battle of Kamelies, waS his particular friend. His mother 
was daughter of Lord Thurl^s, sister of James Duke of Ormond. Anthony Hamilton was born 
■at lioscrea, Co. Tipperarj-, about 1G46, or three or four years earlier. In that year Owen O'Neile 
took Koscrea, and put every soul to death, as Carte says, except Sir Geo. Hamilton's lady, sister 
to the Marquis of Ormond, and some few gentlemen whom he kept prisoners. Lady Hamilton 
died in August, 1G80. as appears from an interesting and affecting letter of her brother, the Duke 
of Ormond, dated Carrick, August 25lh. He had lost his noble son, Lord Ossory, three weeks 
before. Sir George Hamilton was a Catholic. 

& White's MSS. The citadel was afterwards converted into an hospital and is now the Fever 
Hospital of St. John's. 


The 12tli of February, 1686, John Talbot, Earl of Tjrconnell, was sworn 
Lord Deputy of Ireland. He was the first Lord Deputy who went publicly 
to Mass since Queen Mary^s time, and all over Ireland there were the greatest 
rejoicings among the Irish on that account ; but he was hated by the Pro- 
testants. ^ On the 18th of March twelve of the Roman Catholic merchants 
of Limerick were made free of the Common Council ; and on the 2nd of the 
same month Wilham Turner, Recorder of Limerick, became a Roman Ca- 
tholic, and as he was exasperated with the Corporation, he procured from 
the Lord Lieutenant, Tyrconnell, that the Protestant Mayor, Geo. Roche and 
his Sheriffs should be deposed ; and in their places he got named for the rest 
of the year Mr. Robert Hannon, a Cathohc, as Mayor, and Thomas Harold, 
a Catholic, as Sheriff, with Peter Monsell, a Protestant. The Corporation 
would not accept of Hannon as Mayor, or the others as Sheriffs until the 
Assizes, when the Lord Chief Baron Stephen Rice refused holding the As- 
sizes until Hannon was admitted. The Common Council thereupon elected 
Hannon Mayor, and Harold and Monsell Sheriffs, and on the 8th of April, 
1687, the rod, sword and mace were delivered up to Mr. Hannon. Sir John 
Fitzgerald was at this time Governor of Limerick, so that the Governor, 
Mayor, Recorder, and one of the Sheriffs went pubhcly to Mass, the first 
occurrence of the kind for forty years.^ 

On the 4th of October, 1687, being St. Francis's day, the Franciscan friars 
possessed themselves of their own Church in the Abbey ; it was consecrated 
by the Right Rev. John Moloney, Catholic Bishop of Limerick, who had the 
administration of Killaloe, there being no Catholic Bishop of Killaloe. The 
Bishop said first Mass in it, and the Rev. Jasper White said the second Mass. 
The friars now rented this Church from the Englishman who held it, viz. 
John Pery, Lieutenant of a Foot Company. He was ancestor to the Lords 
Pery and Glentworth.'' 

In the next year was finished the Church which the Capuchins built in the 
Irish-town, afterwards called the Infirmary inPalmerstown. The fu'st who said 
Mass therein was one Father Maurice White, a Capuchin friar from Clonmel. 
It is said that Father Jasper White was security for the money, which he 
was afterwards obliged to pay."* 

On 10th of June the same year, Charles Ignatius James, Prince of Wales, 
was born ; his godfathers were the Pope's Nuncio and the Queen's brother ; 
the godmothers were the Queen-Dowager of King Charles II. and the 
Duchess of Pembroke. He was the first Prince in England who had been 
baptized by a priest for two hundred years. Upon this account Robert 
Hannon, Mayor of Limerick, made great rejoicings, and " let three hogsheads 
of wine run" among the populace.^ 

In the following year Sir Thomas Southwell and three hundred other Pro- 
testants, who fought under King James, were taken prisoners in the County 
of Galway; and on the 3rd of October Richard White, Robert Woulfe, 
Pierce Moroney, Doctor Wale, and James England, were made free of the 
Council of Limerick, Thomas Harold being Mayor. 

The country was now rapidly hastening towards those great conflicts and 
changes which develop their proportions as we proceed. 

' White's MSS. 2 Ibid. 3 ibid. 

* White's MSS. This Church was taken clown in the month of March, 1707, so that in a 
short time the site of it was forgotten. It lay about the middle of the street on the western 
side of it — Dr. Yminys note. 

» White's MSS. 






I HAVE briefly sketched in tlie foregoing chapter the rapid progress of 
events which preceded the grand crisis at which we have arrived, and which 
was to decide for ages the fate of a country that had trembled so long in the 
balance. Prom whatever cause arising. King James did not afford to his 
supporters that confidence which he might have inspired among men who 
had bled for their principles, and who had hoped, when he came to the throne, 
that their rights and liberties would receive a becoming recognition. On the 
other hand, the Protestant party, which for so long a period had enjoyed 
immunity and protection for their most revolting excesses, which had ob- 
tained the possessions of the Irish proprietors, who had been driven forth 
with unheard-of cruelty, from their lauds, were now resolved to hold what 
they had obtained, and to resist opposition from whatever quarter it might 
arrive. William had already an immense following in England; and 
strengthened by a powerful party, he resolved to measure weapons with his 
father-in-law, King James, and to make Ireland the battle-ground on which 
the mighty issue was to be decided. On the 12th of March, 1689, James 
landed at Kinsale from Prance, having about 1800 men with him. He pro- 
ceeded immediately from Cork to DubHn, where Lord Tyrconnell, whom he 
had constituted Lord Lieutenant, and the entire Cathohc people, received 
him with open arms as the friend and dehverer, in whom they hoped to find 
a king equal to the tremendous emergency that had arisen.^ He entered 
Dublin on Palm Sunday the 24th, amid the most extraordinary display of 
joy — the streets were lined with soldiers, and the windows were hung 
with tapestry — the King on horseback. Whilst active, energetic, and 
powerful preparations were making on this side of the Channel, to sus- 
tain the legitimate king, and vindicate the rights of a nation which had so 
long and so grievously suffered, eighteen regiments of foot and four or five 
of horse were raised in England for the service of the Prince of Oran_ge in 
Ireland. The levies were made with very great speed ; for in five or six 
vveeks the regiments were completed. In the Tower of London, however, 
theie were not sufficient arms, which had to be sent for to Holland to supply 
the soldiery that were destined for this country. ^ The army thus raised, 
after marching to Chester, and encamping at Neston, embarked on the 8th 
of August, under the command of the Duke Schonberg, General of all the 
forces of WHliara and Mary ; Count Solmes, General of the Eoot, and several 
great oificers more, with ten thousand foot and horse : they set sail at High 
Lake, and landed on Tuesday, the 13th, in the afternoon about three o'clock, 
within a mile and a-haK of Carrickfergus. It is a strange circumstance that 

1 Tlie Duke of Berwick states that the people showed an extraordinary enthusiasm for him. 

2 Storey's Impartial Iliotory. 



in giving a detail of the voyage, tlie first object wliicli Storey states struck 
his vision was the Mourne moimtainsj in Down, on which he remarks a famous 
monastery was placed on the top of one of the very highest of them in times 
of old ; and that, throughout his History, he appears to dwell with a pleasure- 
able interest on the antiquities of a country to which he and his friends came 
to exterminate the ancient race which had fostered and protected monasteries 
and churches, until the oppressor and devastator arrived with sword and fire. 
Schonberg garrisoned Carrickfergus, burned the suburbs, marched to Belfast, 
again to Carrickfergus, where the garrison surrendered, back to Belfast, 
Avhere he returned unopened a letter sent to him by the Duke of Berwick, 
because it was not directed to the "Duke"' Schonberg. Newry was next burned, 
— the people ran in terror from their homes, which they left a prey in the 
hands of the spoiler. ^ They then marched to Dundalk, where they encamped, 
and where, wandering abroad, some of them met their death at the hands of 
certain Eapparees, who were numerous in the neighbourhood.^ King Jameses 
army, 20,000 strong, lay in Drogheda at this time, where they were within 
a short distance of their enemy, and where they supplied themselves with a 
sufficiency of forage and corn. The army (Jameses) subsequently encamped 
at the bridge of Slane, whilst William^s began their entrenchments, and 
Major-General KirFs fierce battalion greatly misnomered, "Lambs/' was 
ordered to march on Monday, the 16th, into the trenches. 

WiUiam's army now amounted to thirty thousand men ; and iu addition 
to these, early in March, 1690, four hundred Danes arrived at Belfast, 
anxious to take part in any warfare agamst those to "nhoui they had ever 
shown themselves rapacious enemies — the Irish. On the fourteenth of that 
month, five thousand French Infantry landed at Kinsale, with General Count 
Lauzun and the Marquis de Lery ; King James having sent back Major- 
General Macarthy and as many Irish. Indeed it was observed with pain 
that James was hastening his own ruin, and disgusting his Irish officers by 
an unjust preference of Frenchmen in the promotions he daily made. On 
the 4th of June a French Eegiment marched into Limerick to garrison it for 
King James, against the forces of "William, which at this juncture were 
hourly expecting the arrival from England of their darling, an event which 
took place at Carrickfergus on the 14th of the same mouth, when he came 
with an enormous force, in addition to that which had been previously at his 
service in Ireland. "William was congratulated by the Protestant clergy of 
the country, who were then in Ulster. At Belfast he stated that he had 
come to Ireland not to let the grass grow under his feet, and he made good 
his words, for the whole army got immediate orders to march into the field. 
He and Prince George, the Duke of Ormonde, and all the principal officers, 
went to the camp at Loughbrickland, and instead of allowing the soldiers to 
pass him in review, he at once went amongst them, examined each regiment 
critically, and gave such directions as he thought needful under the circum- 
stances — he at once, by this means, won the confidence of the men. 

He carried with him for his own use and the use of Prince George, moving 

' " I -went abroad, where I found all the houses deserted for several miles ; most of them that 
I observed had crosses on the inside, above the doors, upon the thatch, some made of •wood and 
others of straw or rushes, finely wrought ; some houses had more and some less.'' — Storeyg 
Impartial History. 

* Rapparee signifies a half stick or broken beam, like a half pike ; and for the last three or 
four years the priests would not allow an Irishman to come to Mass, unless he brought his 
rapparee along with him. — Ibid. 


houses made of wood^ so convenient that they could be set up in an hour's 
time, and he never while in Ireland lay out in camp.' The battle of the 
Boyne, in which King Jameses army was defeated,, and the Duke of Schonberg, 
WiUiam's general was killed, was fought on the 1st of July. James had 
prenously gone to Derry, in order to protect his Protestant subjects from the 
vengeance of the Catholics of the North ; but he was fired at for his pains 
from the walls of Derry — in fact the conduct of King James was already 
arraigned as that of a Catholic in rehgion, and a Protestant in pohtics.' 
There was no blame that did not abeady attach to James ; among others he 
was accused of having spent the campaign of 1689 without advantage — he 
was aspersed because energetic measures were not taken by the Duke of 
Tyrconnell and his other ministers to prevent the Castle of Charlemont, the 
only fortress in Ulster, falling into the hands of Schonberg.^ James, however, 
has been vindicated by Mac Phersou and other writers, fi-om the serious 
charges which have been preferred against him on these heads ; but never- 
theless, his proceedings throughout manifested a desire to conciliate a foe 
which had thoroughly contemned his advances. 

On his arrival in Dubhn, after the defeat of the Boyne, he made a speech 
which speaks badly for his sentiments towards his Irish subjects;* and had he 
reserved what he had to say tiU after he had witnessed all that Irish chivalry 
and honour had done for him in Limerick and elsewhere, it is certain he 
would have done more justice to those who poured out their blood Hke water 
for him on many an eventful field : — 

" Gentlemen, I had a very good army in England, and when I had the 
greatest occasion for them, they deserted me, and went to the enemy ; and 
finding a total defection against me there, I retired and went to France, 
where I was kindly received by that King, and had aU the assurances 
imaginable from him to re-establish me on my Throne. In some time after I 
came to this kmgdom, and found my Eoman Catholic subjects here as well 
equiped and prepared to defend my cause as their abilities could bear; and 
though I have often been told, that when it came to the touch they would 
never bear the brunt of a battle, I never could credit the same ; till now ; 
when having a good army and all preparations fit to engage any foreign 
invader, I found the total truth, of which I have been so often cautioned. 
And though the army did not desert me here as they did in England, yet 
when it came to a tryal, they basely fled the field, and left the spoil to 
my enemies ; nor could they be prevailed upon to rally, though the loss in the 
whole defeat was but inconsiderable : So that henceforward I never more 
determine to head an Irish army, and do now resolve to shift for myself, and 
so, gentlemen, must you. It has been often debated, in case such a revolu- 
tion should happen, whether upon deserting the city of Dubhn, the same 
ought to be fired? I therefore charge you, on your allegiance, that you 
neither rifle the city by plunder, nor destroy it by fire, which in all king- 
doms win be judged very barbarous, and must be believed to be done by my 
orders ; and if done there will be but little mercy expected from an enemy 
thus enraged. He told them, though he quitted Dublin, he did not quit his 
interest in it. He told his menial servants that he should noAv have no 
farther occasion to keep such a court, as he had done ; and that therefore 

' Storej*. ' Leslie's Answer to King. 

' See notes to O'Callaghan's Macarije Excidium, p. 331. 

* Dr. Molleneux's Three Months' Koyal Campaign in Ireland, 




they were at liberty to dispose of tliemselves ; and so wath two or three in 
company, he went to Bray, and along by the sea to Waterford ; having 
appointed his carriages to meet him another way. 'Tis said he did not sleep 
tni he got on ship-board; the vessel was the Lausun, a Malouin of 28 gmis, 
which lay at Duncannon, from which he sailed to Kinsale where he remained 
a short time and then sailed for Prance/^ ^ 

When Athlone was summoned to surrender by Douglas, the fiery Governor, 
Colonel Grace, the younger son of Eobert Grace, Baron of Courtstown, 
county Kilkenny, the descendant of the great Eaymond le Gros, fired 

' The following is a list of King James' Army taken April 9tli, 1690 : — 

Duke of Tyrconnell 
Lord Galmoy 
Colonel Sarsfield 
Col. Sutherland 
Lord Abercorn 
Col. Henry Luttrell 
Col. John Parker 
Col. Nicholas Purcell 

Regiments of Horse. 

^ 9 troops in a regi- 
> ment, 53 men in 
3 a troop. 

/Six troops in a 
>■ regiment, 53 men 

Horse Guards. 
Lord Dover's Troop > n/^/\ t^ ^ 

Duke of Berwick's Troop) "' 

Troop of Grenadiers. 
Col. Butler's— 60 

Lord Dungan ^ Eight troops in a 

Sir Neal O'Neal >• regiment, 60 men 

Col. Simon Lutterel ) each. 


Col. Robert Clifford la- . 

e- T /-I i. /Six troops m a 

Sir James Cotton f . ^ nr\ 

Col. Thos. Maxwell haf^ '^''' 

Lord Clare j 

Regim,enis of Foot. 
Royal Regiment, 22 Companies — 90 men each. 
Earl of Clancarty 
Col. Henry Fitzjames 
Colonel John Hambleton 
Earl of Clanrickard 
Earl of Antrim 
Earl of Tyrone 
Lord Gormanstown 
Lord Slane 
Lord Galloway 
Lord Duleek 
Lord Kilmallock 
Lord Kenmare 
Sir John Fitzgerald 
Sir Maurice Eustace 
Colonel Nugent 
Colonel Henry Dillon 
Colonel John Grace 
Colonel Edward Butler 
Colonel Thomas Butler 
Lord Pophin 

Storey states that these last-mentioned " were meer Irish, and good for little, so no wonder 
they were broke." James had other forces in garrison throughout the country. Twenty-seven 
thousand men fought for him at the Boyne. 

* Limerick men. 

Colonel Charles Moore 
Colonel Cormac O'Neil 
Colonel Arthur MacMahon 
Earl of Westmeath 
Colonel Cavanagh 
Colonel Usborough 
Colonel MacCarthy More 
Colonel Gordon ONeil 
Colonel John Barrett 
Colonel Charles O'Bryan 
Colonel Donovan 
Colonel Nicholas Browne 
Colonel O'Gara 
Sir Michael Creagh* 
Colonel Dom. Browne* 
Col. Bagnal 
Colonel MacEligott 
Lord Inniskillen 
Colonel Hugh MacMahon 
Colonel Walter Bourke 
Colonel Felix O'Neil 
Lord Iveagh 
Colonel O'Keyly. 

Regiments from France. 
The Red Regiment 
The Blue Regiment 

Two White Regiments, each divided into 
several battalions, being in all 5000 men. 

Regiments that were sent to France in Exchange, 

Lord Mountcashel's 

Colonel Richard Butler's 

Colonel Daniel O'Bryan's 

Colonel Richard Fielding's 

Colonel Arthur Dillon's. 

Regiments that were raised and never tahen into 

pay, but were disbanded. 
Lord Castleconnel 
Colonel Roger O'Connor 
Colonel Charles Geoghegan 
Colonel John Brown 
Colonel James Butler 
Colonel Manus O'Donnell 
Colonel O'Cahan 
Colonel Edward Nugent 
Colonel Charles Kelly 
Colonel Brien Mac Dermot 
Colonel James Talbot. 


a pistol at the drummer who was sent to him to surrender the fortress^ 
*' These are m?/ terms/^ exclaimed Grace ; " these only will I give or receive ; 
and when my provisions are consumed I will defend it till I eat my boots/' 
hoisting a bloody flag at the moment, and beating back a detachment of 3,000 
horse and foot that attempted to cross the Shannon, killing Douglas's best 
gunner, and compelling the enemy to retreat more rapidly than they had 
advanced. After this defeat before Athlone, Douglas, with the remnant of his 
forces made an effort to join King William at Limerick. In doing so he was 
hourly afraid of falling into the hands of Sarsfield, who, he was aware would 
make short work of his troops if but the opportunity was thrown in his way. 
Instead, therefore, of taking the direct route to Limerick, he pursued the road 
by Ballymore and Ballyboy, avoiding Banagher, where he had heard that 
Sarsfield awaited him; and, passing through Roscrea, he proceeded by 
Thurles which he sacked and burned, and Holycross, till he reached the camp 
at CuUen, where he did not arrive before the 8th of August. When he passed 
Eoscrea, he encamped on the north side of the hiU of Ptathnavaigue, near 
Dunkerrin, where the army spent a few days at rest. At the De\'il's Bit 
mountain a message was received by Douglas from William, to hasten his 
march, the rapparees every where giving him more than enough to think of. The 
countrypeople brought quantities of poultry and other provisions to the camp,aU 
of which were paid for; and here an incident occurred which I have heard from 
the great grandson of the individual who then hved at Kyleanna, near Clona- 
kenny, in the neighbourhood. This gentleman rode to the camp with several 
others, having been attracted thither by curiosity. He saw that the grenadiers 
wore four bells on their waist belts for the purpose of frightening away cavaby ; 
and it was here the following melancholy occurrence took place : — A soldier 
who had strayed across the hill to look at the country, sat down to rest, and 
soon afterwards fell asleep, probably from fatigue; some labourers were 
working near the spot digging a ditch, and their children who were with them, 
gathered around the sleejiing soldier, and commenced playing with the bells ; 
the noise awoke him suddenly, when he ran ofi^ to where his firelock lay, a 
short distance ; the labourers thinking that he took the musket to fire at the 
children, one of them (the workmen) threw a stone at the soldier, which hit 
him on the head and knocked him senseless — the others dispatched him with 
their spades, and buried him on the spot where the occurrence took place. 
This was not known to the army, which passed on "ndthout making inquiries 
after the missing man. A foraging party of the same army was sent down 
from the camp towards Emmil, where they fell in Avith a large body of the 
followers of O'CarroU — long Anthony O'Carroll Avho had held the Castle of 
Nenagh — a conflict ensued — not one of the foraging party, about twelve in 
number escaped — and to this day the place where this occurred is called the 
" Bloody Togher" — it lies between Moneygall and Emmil — aU in the King's 

The advice which it is alleged that Kuig James gave his Colonels when he 
Avas taking leave of them — namely, that they should make the best terms for 
themselves and desert their duty, appears to be a calumny on his memory, 
because, according to the Memoirs of the Duke of Berwick, when he was 
proceeding from Kinsale for France, he wrote to Lord Tyrconnel that having 
left for that country on the recommendation of Lausun and others of his 
friends, he hoped to send them considerable succours, and gave them in the 
meantime fifty-thousand pistoles Avhich was all the money he had. "\Miile 


Duke of York, by land and by sea, the unfortunate James showed wonderful 
courage; but there can be no doubt when at the Boyne, he cried ^^Oh! spare 
my English subjects;" and when after his rapid flight from Dublin, he 
made the speech already quoted, and forthwith ran for France, he did not 
bequeath to his supporters a reputation on which they can ever take occasion 
to congratulate themselves, whilst his enemies even at the moment he was 
sparing them, were using every exertion to prove the contempt and hatred 
they entertained for him and the Irish. Lord Wharton boasted that he sung 
King James out of Ireland by a song, which became so popular with the 
Williamites that it was heard every where throughout the land that they had 
a footing.^ 

Of this doggrel and the use made of it at the Boyne and afterwards at 
Lunerick, it is quite unnecessary to write ; but in Limerick it had no other 
effect than that of nerving the arm of the defenders to fight for native hearths 
and native altars and to conquer. 

Boisseleau was now the Governor of Limerick. Lausun and other French 

' It is said that the Philippics of Demosthenes and Cicero had not a greater effect in Greece and 
Rome as those verses had in producing among the Protestants the revolt against James II. Aa 
many of my readers have never seen those verses, I shall here give them for their edification, as 
a demonstration of the utter recklessness of the anti-national and anti-Catholic party, and of 
their vindictive spirit towards the Irish and their faith. I have to apologise for giving the ballad 
in its integrity, as it contains a certain quantity of blasphemy and profanity, in which the army 
of William and the Orangemen generally indulged to their hearts' content The reader of Tristram 
Shandy will remember how uncle Toby (the type of Sterne's father, who served before Limerick), 
is described as whistling this air : — 

Sung to the modern aik — "■ Protestant Boys. ^\ 

Ho 1 broder Teague, dost hear de decree ? 

Lilli burlero, buUen a-la. 
Dat we shall have a new deputie, 

Lilli burlero, bullen a-la. 

Lero lero, lilli burlero, lero lero, bullen a-la, 
Lero lero, lilli burlero, lero lero, bullen a-la. 

Ho ! by shaint Tyburn, it is de Talbote ; Lilli, &c. 
And he will cut de Englishmen's troate ; Lilli, &e. 

Dough by my shoul de English do praat, Lilli, &c. 
De law's on dare side, and knows what, Lilli, &c. 

But if dispence do come from de Pope ; Lilli, &c. 

We'll hang Magna Charta, and dem in a rope ; Lilli, &c. 

For de good Talbot is made a lord ; Lilli, &c. 
And with brave lads is coming aboard ; LUli, &c. 

Who all in France have taken a sware ; Lilli, &c. 
Dat dey will have no Protestant heir ; Lilli, &c. 

Ara ! but why does he stay behind ? Lilli, &c. 
Ho ! by my shoul 'tis a Protestant wind, Lilli, &c. 

But see de Tyrconnel is now come ashore, LUli, &c. 
And we shall have commissions gillore ; Lilli, &c. 

And he dat will not go to de mass, Lilli, &c. 
Shall be turned out, and look like an ass, Lilli, &c. 

Now, now de hereticks all go down, Lilli, &c. 

By C — t and Shaint Patrick, de nation's our own ; Lilli, &^ 

* Bullm-u-la, is a corruption of the Irish phrase " Builin a laimh," i.e. " a loaf in the hand." 


Generals were in the city, but some of them speedily evacuated itj' they 
had no desire to fight for Ireland ; when Lausun saw Limerick first he pro- 
nounced that it could not be defended ;2 he who had been at Valenciennes 

Dare was an old prophecy found in a bog ; Lilli, &c. 
" Ireland shall be rul'd by an ass and a dog ;" Lilli, &c. 

And now dis prophecy is come to pass, Lilli, &c. 
For Talbot's de dog, and James is de ass, Lilli, &c. 

Percy's Eeliques of Ancient Poetry. 

LillibuUero was written, or at least republished, on the eve of Tyrconnell's going a second 
time to Ireland in October, 1688. Perhaps it is unnecessary to mention, that General Richard 
Talbot, newly created earl of Tj'rconnell, had been nominated by King James II. to the lieu- 
tenancy of Ireland in 1686, on account of his being a decided Catholic, who had recommended 
himself to his master by his treatment of the Protestants in the preceding year, when only 
lieutenant-general, and whose subsequent conduct fully justified the King's expectations, and, we 
shall not add, their fears, because, after all, Tyrconnell was not strictly true to the old cause. 

' I am indebted to Mr. Patrick Lynch, a very intelligent Head Constable of Police, for the 
following unpublished Irish Poem, written soon after the departure of King James from France, 
and the disastrous events which in the subsequent year followed, which Mr. Lynch has also 
translated: — 

1 "Do t!ix^n]c■ Ri5 S§ATi)ur cusajjij) 50 b-ejtie. 
Re TjA btt05 5aU&a 't t^e VA b|io5 5aoUc ; 
Coin AX) a6aii) bui6e b'A le]5eA6 n^An pay 6uii)»j, 

bjoc A cb]t pitair A5 SAiiAjb ijA b-eirtii)ti, 

'S oc ! ocor) ! 

2 Va rpAtttJt) CUACTHUIIJ bA CTIUA5 AX) fS^Al fe, 

'S JVtt tJA 1)&A0]Tje UAirle a 5-CUAt) a &-Ct;AOC.CA, 
'MUAJTt tA]r)]C At)UAr OfttlA rSUAlT) AT) bfeAtXlA, 

t5o cui|i A1) T^UA15 Aiti cuaUacc SbfeATijuir, 

'S OC ! ocoi) ! 

3 1|; )on)6A &AO]i)e UAirle i^AO] cloc\x]Se beAttSA, 
pAO] clocujSe UA]tr)e 'r clocu]&e 5ot%rnA, 
y,5ur TAlsblum r]t)5ll rA 5UI)a A]V. a suaIaioij, 
t)o CUA1& 50 coise UIa6 'r nivtt f^jU tja a cuAimrs, 

'S oc ! OCOI) I 

4 t5']n)ci5 Atj xn)'A\ Ajtt b-Allui5e luinjijeAc, 

'S AiTt At) Ti).bui8it) Ti)At)lA bioc t)ATi 5-cuibeAccA, 
Slt) fe Uu6|iAi5e or cioi)t) 5AC lo]t)5e aco, 
'5 t5oi)i)CA& AX) ciijl bui&e cAji fejr a i)occAi5ce, 

'5 6c ! ocoi) 1 

5 t5'in)ci& At) rn)^l Aitt h'Ab Ai) caIaic, 
'5 cjk CeAt)t) c-5Aile lAt) &o bAncAib, 
3AbA]3 leAr-CAU CU15 6u]rce At) l)hA1tTtA15. 
Z'Ap t)A po]txc iiAobcA ir Ci^e A5 3AllAlb, 

'S be ! OCOI) ! 

6 5Ab Ti)& r|An Ai) riiAb to aid AonAtx, 

'S 5eAbA6 n)e i)iAtt A t^ir ")At V^Pl^i 

t5'A]Ti)6e0]t) A I)-AbTlA]!3 bo&Ai5 At) b&ATtlA, 

bei6 i)A c|t] fifseAcc fo 'ttjr A5 SfeAnnir, 

'S be I ocot) I 

7 Hac aic At) ajc 't)Att fasbAfe A TtAoiTi riOi), 
2llti b^tUAc T)A r|tA5A 5AI) rOAice boi) 6AbAc, 
Ca t)A loit)5ir A5 rt)A.ii) 'r ;ivn ")!):* as sfeAtt-sol, 
S' n)o CUI5 c^Aft flin) 50 bitivc leAcrA Cifie, 

'5 6c ! OCOI) ! 

8 Ir lon)6A trAtinujtte ]:AbA notjt) 5I61510I, 
60 CUA1& CATt r^lle A I)-Attll) RJ5 S&Ait)ur, 
t5o CAbi\A6 A rcAc AiT^ cixjttcji) sfeAt^bJse, 

Wo A]|\ beoc t^ittri'75 "'ttirs© »JA ?)-eiriioi)t), 

'5 6c ! OCOI) ! 
' M'Goghpgan's History of Ireland, p, 594. 


and Phillipsburgli laughed when he saw those grey old walls, which he 
fancied would crumble to dust beneath the first shot, and exclaimed with 
an oath : " It is unnecessary for the English to bring cannon against such a 
place as this. What you caU ramparts might be battered down with roasted 
apples/^ He declared that '' at all events he was determined not to throw 
away in a hopeless resistance the Hves of the brave men who had been en- 
trusted to his care by his master/^' This may not have been his real opinion 


1 King James came orer to Ireland, 
Wearing an English shoe and an Irish brogue, 
And to coin into money for our pay, 

The bottoms of the brass cauldrons used by the English. 

2 The day of the conflict at Thomond [Bridge] was a woeful one, 
When our brave men were doomed to destruction. 

Being overpowered by the English-speaking hordes, 
Who routed the forces of James. 

3 Many nobles who wore scarlet cloaks. 
Blue cloaks and green ones ; 

And private soldiers with their guns on their shoulders, 
Marched into Ulster, and have not returned. 

4 The halls of Limerick are rendered desolate. 
And the fair ladies who kept us company ; 
Kody is now in command of the fleet, 

And Donocha* of the yellow hair is stripped of his territories. 

5 The Passage ferry-boat is distressed, 
And Kinsale harbour is full of shipping ; 

You had better march round by Barry's country, 

The fortresses are taken, and Ireland is in the hands of the enemy. 

6 I travelled alone this mountain westwards, 
And I shall if possible again return ; 

And despite of what those English-speaking churls boast of, 
King James shall yet reign over these three kingdoms. 

7 What wretched quarters were last night allowed us, 
On the sea-shore, without any clothing to cover us ; 

The ships are going to sail, and our wives most bitterly weeping. 
And my five hundred farewells for ever be with you, Erin. 

8 Many tall fair-haired comely men, 

Who crossed the seas in King James' army, 

Who would give their estates for a pot of sour beer. 

Or for a drink of Erin's water. 

No. 1. refers to King James' pro-English sympathy as expressed on Donore hill and elsewhere ; 
also to his Brass Money. 

No. 2. refers to the disaster on Thomond Bridge immediately upon the Capitulation. 

No. 3. refers to the defeat of Lord Mountcashel at Newtown Butler in 1689. 

No. 4. I know nothing of Kody, but Donocha was the last Earl of the MacCarthys of Blarney 

No. 6. probably refers to the intention of the soldiers of the Irish Brigade to return and regain 
what they had lost at the Boyne and Aughrim. 

No. 7. refers to the ill-treatment experienced by King James' Army previous to their sailing 
for France. I have heard that some of the soldiers' wives waded into the water as far as the 
boats, and that the English soldiers in charge of the transport vessels cut off their fingers with 
their swords when they clung to the sides of the boats to enter. 

No. 8. most feelingly refers to the longing for home of the members of the Irish Brigade. 

' Colonel O'Kelly's Macariae Excidium ; M-Geoghegan's History of Ireland. Life of James 
II., 420, &c. 

• O'Sullivan Beare, in his Histoi'ios CatJwlicoe, speaks of a learned and hospitable man named 
Donogh M'Grath, or Donogh an t-Sneachta ; so called from his white locks of hair, who was 
treacherously hanged in Cork l)y the English to which he had been favorable. 


of the strength of Limerick. Lord Macaulay says^ " The tnith is that the 
judgment of the biilliant and adventurous Frenchman was biassed by his 
inclinations. He and his companions were sick of Ireland. They were ready 
to face death with courage, nay with gaiety on a field of battle." Macaulay 
proceeds to regard the case from the Anglo-Saxon point of view ; and says : 
*' But the dull, squalid, barbarous life which they (the French) had been now 
leading during several months was more than they could bear. They were 
as much out of the civUized world as if they had been banished to Dahomey 
or Spitzbergen. The climate affected their health and spirits. In that un- 
happy country, wasted by years of jaredatory warfare, hospitality could offer 
little more than a couch of straw, a trencher of meat haK raw, half burned, 
and a draught of sour milk.^ A crust of bread, a pint of wine could hardly 
be purchased for money. A year of such hardship seemed a century to men, 
who had been always accustomed to carry with them to the camp the luxuries 
of Paris, soft bedding, rich tapestry, sideboards of plate, hampers of Cham- 
pagne, opera dancers, cooks and musicians. Better to be a prisoner in the 
Bastille, better to be a recluse at La Trappe, than to be generahssimo of the 
half-naked savages who burrowed in the dreary swamps of Munster. Any 
plea was welcome which would serve as an excuse for returning from that 
miserable exile to the land of corn fields and vmeyards, of gilded coaches and 
laced cravats. ■'^^ A vile plea for men who called themselves soldiers ! 

Tyrconnell had already sent away his wife (Frances Jennings, elder sister of 
the famous Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough) to France, and his own wealth 
as well as the King's treasure. Among those who shared the fortune of 
James, was the Puight Rev. Dr. John ]\Ioloney (of the Kiltanon family, in the 
County of Clare) Bishop of Limerick and administrator of Killaloe. He was 
in Paris at this period (1690), an envoy to the Court of Louis, to negociate 
assistance for Ireland. His remains were interred in the College of the 
Lombards, where his tomb bears the following inscription : — 

Illustris et Reverendissimus Ecclesise presul, JoHvVnxes O'Maloxy, 
Ex antiquissima familia inter Hibernos ortus, Parisi ab adolescentia educatus, 
et SacriE facultatis Parisi Doctor, ex Canonico Rothotnagensi, factus primum 
Episeopus Laonensis, sui nominis et f amiliaj tertius ; deinde Episcopus Lim- 
ericensis et Administrator Laonensis, Catholicaj religionis et patrise ardens 
ZeLator, propterea ab Ilereticis sepe ad necem QiuBsitus, Tandem Parisi 
redux exul et collegio in usum Sacerdotum Hibernorum trecentas libellas, 
Tuorensis anui reditus donavit, preter mille ducentas libellas in construct- 
ionera hujus Sacelli semel donatas obiit die tertia Septembris anno sute 
aetatis 78, et in anno Domini 1702.< 

' Lord Macaulay's History of England, vol. 3, p. 6C4. 

* This was not the case at a more distant period, because we find by the inquisition in the 
reign of Henry VIIL, and held in Limerick in the thirty-third year of that reign, that wine 
was imported in immense quantities, and that merchants complained of the fraudulent impositions 
to which their property was subjected by the old chieftains between Carrigaholt and Carrigo- 
gunnell, who boarded the ships and took boot}' by way of tax from them. The inquisition 
has been given in a preceding chapter. 

3 The impatience of Lauzun and his countrymen to get away from Ireland is mentioned in a 
letter of Oct. 21, 1690, quoted in the Memoirs of James IL 420. 

* The Eight Rev. John O'MoIoney descended from one of the most ancient families in 
Ireland, studied in Paris from his j-outh, where he acquired the degree of Doctor of Divinity, 
and after accomplishing his studies he returned to his native countrj-, and was made Bishop of 
Killaloe, the third of his name and family, as Bishop in that diocese. In the course of some 
time afterwards he was appointed Bishop of the diocese of Limerick and Administrator of Killaloe. 
lie remained in Paris after the fall of .James, where he contributed to the erection of the Irish 
College, and built the chapel attached to it at his own expense. — Besides, he established three 



Tyrconnell had but little hope. No doubt our country had been "brayed 
in a mortar" during the wars of EHzabeth, and subsequently during the great 
rebellion^ etc. Sir WilHam Petty, in his Political Anatomy of Ireland (Tracts, 
p. mS.), says that between October 23, 16il, and the same day, 1652, "If 
Ireland had continued in peace for the said eleven years, then the 1,466,000 
(population in 1641) had increased by generation in that time to 73,000 
more, making in all 1,539,000, which were by the said wars brought, anno 
1652, to 850,000, so that there were lost 689,000 souls, for whose blood 
somebody should answer both to God and the King." And forty years after 
Sir William Petty wrote this the Irish were in a more terrible position than 
when he wrote ; yet they made a stand within Limerick for all they 
cherished as most dear ! As to the civilization of the Irish, even before this 
period, I will quote again from Su- WilUam Petty : " The diet, and housing, 
and clothes is much the same as in England ; nor is the French elegance 
unknown to many of them, nor the Prench and Latin tongues. The latter 
amongst the poorest Irish, and chiefly in Kerry, most remote from Dublin, 
where it is very freely spoken." — Political Anatomy of Ireland (Tracts, 
p. 351). ^Vhat an answer to Lord Macaulay. 

Gloomy indeed is the picture of Limerick at this period ; not certainly 
congenial to the luxurious refinement of the French. It is by no means en- 
couraging as regards our notions of their self-abnegation, and that respect 
which they ought to cherish for a nation which had placed unbounded con- 
Burses for the use and benefit of the O'lilolony family to the exclusion of strangers, on which 
many members of his family studied, namely, the Very Rev. Matthew Molony, V.G. and P.P. 
of Tomevara, his brother, Kev. Miles Molony, P.P. of Borrisokane, and also the Very Rev. 
Daniel Molony Murphy, formerly PP. of Nenagh, who was the last of the familj- who enjoyed 
these Burses, with the exception of the Rev. Patrick Molony Ryan, P.P. of Cappamore in the 
Archdiocese of Cashel, who has been proved, he states, before three magistrates to be the legal 
claimant to this ecclesiastical hereditary property, and his claim has been confirmed by the 
Minister of Interior, in Paris, and the Public Tribunals. 

A tombstone in Kilquane bears the following inscription : — 

Broken off 

Here lieth ye Body 

of Doctor Mathew 

Moi.ONY who was 

Vicar General of E 

ye DiECESs of Limerick 

and Killalowe for 

32 years Parish 

Broken off 

Close to the tomb of Doctor Mathew Molony there is another tombstone of nearly the same 
dimensions, with the following inscription, which I give here ; — 

This tomb was erected 

by ye Parishnrs. of Kilquane 

and Munchins in memory 

of ye Rev. Father Francis 

Nolan in the Parish 


departed this life 
ye 4th day of 
January, 1768 
aged 04 years. 

In Kilquane there had been several ancient tombstones with inscriptions in the Irish character ; 
there are few if any traces of them now. Some of them were shattered several years ago by 
soldiery from the garrison of Limerick. 


fidence in the good faith they professed to right the wrongs that had reduced 
Ireland to the unhappy condition in which she was at this period — ^torn on all 
gi(Jes — a victim above all to her blind devotion to a King, who quitted her 
shores in the moment of danger. 

It is certain that William, who had set out on his march to Limerick on 
the 9th of July, made several delays, and spoke of returning to England, in 
the hope that he might be able to induce Tyrconnell to enter into a satisfac- 
tory negociation. In his progress he was accompanied by the Duke of 
Ormonde, with whom he dined at his castle of Kilkenny, where, no doubt, he 
admired the magnificent gallery of paintings, which included portraits of the 
unfortunate Earl of Strafford in his younger days and towards the close of his 
puzzling career.* Erom Kilkenny, on Sunday the 20th, they marched six miles 
farther, to Mr. Read^s, of Rossenara, where they encamped ; on the following 
day, they reached Carrick-on-Suir, where also they encamped, and viewed the 
residence of the Duke of Ormonde, whose ancestor, Edward Boteler, or Butler, 
in the reign of Edward II. obtained the honor of Earl of Carrick, which the 
Duke now enjoyed. While in camp near Carrick-on-Suir, I believe at a place 
caUed Deer Park, a few miles on the Clonmel road, WiUiam, who had heard 
that Thomas Otway, Protestant Bishop of Ossory, refused to pray for him, 
directed his secretary. Sir William Southwell, to write to the Bishop, sus- 
pending him till further orders. William now summoned Waterford, which 
surrendered ; and here again he spoke of going to England, but did not do 
so, and joined the army on the 2nd of August at Golden Bridge. 

While Wilham was at Golden Bridge, he was waited on by the Mayor 
and Corporation of Cashel, who presented him with a petition on the subject 
of their displacement by James, and he gave them a letter restoring them 
to their ancient rights and privileges, and naming Mayor, Aldermen, and 
Officers of the Corporation.^ 

On the 6th he reached Sallywood, having sent a party of horse the 
day before towards Limerick. In the army of William were several 
refugee Protestant clergymen, who accompanied him on his march, and 
among them was Ulysses Burgh, Dean of Emly. On the 8th of August 
William entered the county of Limerick, marching to Caherconlish, within a 
short distance of Dromkeen, the ancient patrimony and residence of the 
Burghs of Dromkeen.3 Burgh visited his house, which he found standing, 

• The epitaph on Strafford's tomb shows what was thought of him : — 
" Here his wise and valiant dust 

Huddled up 'twixt fit and just : 

Strafford who was hurried hence, 

'Twixt treason and convenience. 

He spent his time here in a mist, 

A Papist, yet a Calvinist ; 

His Prince's nearest joy and grief 

He had, yet wanted, all relief : 

The proposed ruin of the State, 

The People's violent love and hate, 

Are in extremes loved and abhorred. 

Riddles lie here, and in a word. 

Here lies , and let it be 

Speechless still and never crie — BushweU's Knights of the Garter. 
' Keport of the Commissioners on Municipal Corporations in Ireland. James II. granted a 
Charter to Cashel, dated 20th October, 5th of bis reign, by which he made a seizure of the 
Franchises of the city into the King's hands bj' a judgment of his Exchequer. 

3 Burgh of Dromkeen. Lodge tells us that Jolin, eldest son of Walter Bourke (who wae 
Mc William Ougliter .ind chief of his Sept, and died in 1440), assisted James, Earl of Ormonde 
against the O'Briens, but eventually marrying their sister, obUiued with her the greater part of 


but " rifled to extremity.'^ The Dean's local knowledge, and his influence 
in procuring provisions from the country people, proved of great service to 
William, who promised him preferment on the success of his arms. But 
so many others had received similar promises, that William found it difficult 

the Barony of Coshma, which he exchanged with the Bourkes of Castle Connell, for the third part 
of that of Clanwilliam ; and that he was governor of Dromkeen the j'ear he died. His eldest son, 
William Duffe, was father of Meyler Bourke of Dromkeen, whose descendants were styled " Sloght 
Meyler," to distinguish them from the Castle Connell family. His grandson, Richard Oge Burke, 
was found by Inquisition taken at Kilmallock, 18 October, 1522, to have died in 1596, seized of 
Dromkeen, Drumrask, Rathkipp, Pallasbeg and other lands. This Richard Oge was father of 
Meyler, grand-father of Ulick, and great grand-father of Richard, who becoming the male heir of 
the family, inherited Dromkeen and the other entailed estates in 1640. He was in Holy Orders 
of the Protestant Church, and anglicised his name into Burgh, a common practice in those daj's 
with those who adhered to the English interest. For the same fashionable reason at that time, he 
called his eldest son Ulysses instead of Ulick — Ulick was an Irish corruption of William, or William 
Oge, and was first given to Sir William Bourke, ancestor of the Marquesses of Clanrickarde ; but 
had no more real connection with Ulysses than the classic Cornelius had with the Celtic Connor, 
for which it has been substituted. 

This Ulysses Burgh of Dromkeen, was, like his father, a Protestant clergj-man. He improved 
his interest by marrying a lady of illustrious descent, Marj' Kingsmill, daughter of William Kings- 
mill, M.P. for Mallow, and grand-daughter of Sir Warham St. Leger, by Ursula, daughter of 
George Lord Abergavenny, and grand-daughter of the ill-fated Edward Stafford, Duke of 
Buckingham. She was consequently very nearly related to the house of Plantagenet. Ulysses 
Burgh obtained his first preferment in the district where the estates of his family gave him con- 
siderable influence, and in 1672 we find him Rector of Kilteely and of Grean. In 1685 he 
obtained the Deanery of Emly, with a house and some preferment in the City of Cashel. But in 
three j'ears more Ireland became the scene of civil war. The Dean of Emly was obliged to fly — 
and we next find him in London. He accompanied William III. to Ireland. However, in 1692, 
Dean Burgh was named Bishop of Ardagh ; and as this see was a very poor see, and before and 
since has only been held with another Bishopric, the King promised Dr. IJurgh speedy promotion, 
and gave the Deanery of Emlj', which he was vacating, to his son-in-law. Dr. Thomas Smyth,* 
afterwards Bishop of Limerick. The new Bishop of Ardagh, however, never received the promised 
advancement, for he died in less than six months after obtaining the mitre. He was ancestor of 
that gallant soldier — Sir Ulysses Burgh, Lord Downes, G.C.B., general in the army, and aid-de- 
camp to the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War ; and also of that eminent lawyer and 
statesman — Chief Baron Hussey Burgh ; whose grand-son now holds part of the Dromkeen estate. 

• The family of Smyth is the largest in the British isles, and exists in the highest as well as 
the humblest ranks. The name is written in many forms, of which Smith is the earliest. About 
the time of Henry VIII. it was frequently written Smyth, by adding the mute e then commonly 
used, or Sjiuth, by making two dots over the y in the simpler form. Smithson appears to be 
only a modification of this name, though the Dukes of Northumberland, who belong to this family, 
derive the name from the lands of Smethton. 

Of these different modes of spelling, the first was adopted by the extinct Lords Carrington, 
and by the family, in no way related to them, of the present Lord Carrington ; though he himself, 
like Lord Lyveden and some other noble members of the Smith family, has exchanged that for a 
less common name. Lord Strangford's family, an ancient and eminent one, spells the name 
Smythe, whilst an Essex Boronet adheres to the strange orthography of Smijth. 

The Smyths who, for some generations, took so leading a part in Limerick, were originally 
seated at Rossdale, in Yorkshire, but they settled in the reign of Queen Elizabeth at Dundrum, 
in Downshire, and afterwards in Lisburn, in Antrim. At an early date, they became connected 
with the Protestant episcopate, by the marriage of one of their family, Mary Smyth of Dundrum, 
with Henry Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh. This prelate, who died 1613, had, when Archdeacon 
of Dublin, taken the chief part in persuading Elizabeth to grant its charter to the University of 
Dublin, of which he was the first Fellow ; and several members of his wife's family, adopting a 
University life, discovered in the College which he had helped to found, a road to the episcopal 

Thomas Smyth, Bishop of Limerick, born at Dundrum in 1654, was connected with many of 
the old Irish families through his mother, one of the Dowdalls of Glasspistel, in Louth, a family 
then of great eminence in the Pale, but subsequently ruined by Cromwell's forfeitures. He was 
brought up at the University of Dublin, where his nephew, Edward Smyth, and his cousin, 
William Smyth, also received their education. All three obtained Fellowships there; and all three 
held Irish Bishopricks in the same year, 1699. 

William, Bishop of Killala, and afterwards of Kilmore, was ancestor of the families of 
Gaybrook and Drumcree, and of the Smythes, of Barbavilla, Co. Westmeath. Edward was 
Dean of St. Patrick's, and afterwards Bishop of Down and Connor. He died in 1720, leaving two 


to keep tliem. Burgh, however, was fortunate enough to obtain the Bishop- 
ric of Ardagh; and his son-in-law Thomas Smith, afterwards Bishop of 
Limerick, the Deanery of Emly. Among other places visited on his march 
to the city, was Cahernorry, where Wilham is said to have slept, and 
which was then, as it had been up to a recent period, in possession of the 
Cripps family. 1 The Eev. Mr. Cripps obtained the grant of Cahernorry, not 

sons, of whom the elder was ancestor of the Smyths of Mount Henry, in the Queen's County, and 
the younger was father of the Kight Honourable Sir Skeffington Smyth, M.P., created a Baronet 
in 177G, Avhose heir married the iirst Lord Dunsandale. 

Thomas Smyth, with whom we are chiefly concerned, was elected a Fellow of Trinity College 
in 1677 ; and for twelve years he enjoyed the studious calmness of a University life. But civil 
war breaking out, he tied to England in 1689, thus forfeiting his fellowship; and then became 
curate of St. Martin's in the Fields, an important parish in London, under the celebrated Doctor 
Tennison, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. Here he married Dorothea, daughter of Ulysses 
Burgh of Dromkeen, Dean of Emly, and like him a refugee from Ireland, both being partizans of 
the Prince of Orange. When the Dean of Emly was made Bishop of Ardagh in 16!)2, he obtained 
the King's permission for his son-in-law. Dr. Smyth, to succeed him in his Deanery : and on the 
see of Limerick becoming vacant three years later, Queen Mary, on the special recommendation 
of his old friend, Archbishop Tennison, obtained it for him ; and Dr. Smyth was accordingly- 
consecrated in Trinity College, 8 December, 16'.)5. 

He was a man of great learning, and indefatigable in the performance of his duties ; but his 
cold and haughty manners were ill-suited to preserve his favor at Court, after Queen Mary's 
death ; so that in an age when translations were the rule, he was never removed to a wealthier 
preferment, the Vice Chancellorship of the Universitj' of Dublin being only an honorary appoint- 
ment. He died on the 4th May, 1725, and was buried at St. Munchin's, leaving i.600 to the 
poor of Limerick, and settling the landed property on his two sons in succession. He had besides 
three daughters, of whom one died young. Tlie eldest married twice. Her first husband was 
Sir Nicholas Osborne, of Knockmoane, the fifth Baronet of that ancient family, by whom she had 
a daughter and eventual heir, who married Mr. Vereker, of Eoxborough.* Lady Osborne married 
secondly Colonel Kamsay, and had another daughter Mary, who married Mr. Kochfort, brother of 
Lord Belvidere. Dorotliea, the youngest daughter of the Bishop, marrying Mr. Tucker, of Cavan, 
was grand-mother of the late gallant sailor, Admiral Sir Edward Tucker, G.C.B., who died in 

Of the Bishop's numerous sons, William was Dean of Ardfert ; John, Chancellor of Connor ; 
Henry, Archdeacon of Glendalough; and George, M.P. and a Baron of the Exchequer. Arthur, 
the eighth son, after being made Dean of Derry in 1744, became successively Bishop of Clonfert, 
Down, Meath, and Archbishop of Dublin, the latter in 1766. Dying in 1772, he was buried in 
St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the beautiful monument erected to his memory, has been lately 
restored, with the rest of that venerable pile, by the liberal taste of Mr. Guinness, who is connected 
with the family of the Archbishop through the Lees. 

Edward, ninth son of the Bishop of Limerick, was an eminent physician, and a considerable 
benefactor to the poor of Limerick and Dublin ; whilst James, the youngest of this numerous 
family, was Collector of Limerick, Sheriff of the City in 1741, and Mayor in 17ol. He was 
grand-father of the late Chief Baron O'Grady ; and also of Carew Smyth, the last Eecorder of 

Charles Smyth, for so many j-ears M.P. for the city, was the Bishop's second son. — But he out- 
lived all his brothers, and saw five Bishops succeed his father. His public career sufficiently 
appears in the course of this history. Called to the Irish Bar in 1725, he married, three years 
later, Elizabeth Prendergast, Lady Hamon, a young widow of considerable fortune, which was 
eventually largly increased. For her brother, the Kight Honourable Sir Thomas Prendergast, the 
last Baronet of that family, for many years M.P. for Clonmell, in the Irish Parliament, and for 
Chichester in that of England, died whilst a patent was preparing to create him Viscount Clonmell, 
and left no issue ; and her eldest sister, the Countess of Meath also dying childless, all the 

• This family is now represented by John Gleeson, Esq., Solicitor, Limerick, who married 
Miss Cripps, daughter of the late Alderman John Cripps, the last male representative of the 

* The family of Vereker first settled near Limerick in the reign of Queen Anne, when Connel 
Vereker of Douglas and Grange, in the County of Cork, (a gentleman paternally of Dutch descent, 
but whose mother was heir to a branch of the Celtic O'Connells), purchased the estate of Kox- 
borough from the Ilollow-Sword-Blade Company, and erected a mansion, which still exists, in a 
park laid out with cnnals, terraces, and hedges, in tlie stiff Dutch fashion, all long since removed. 
He served as High Sheriff for the County of Limerick in 172'J, and died in 1733. Henry, hi* 


from WilKam, but from King Charles II., to whose interest he was attached ; 
but he showed hospitality to William, and as a token of his Majesty's good 

Prendergast estates devolved on John, the j'oungest son of Charles Smyth and lady Hamon, who 
thereupon took the name of Prendergast only. 

Charles Smyth died in 1784, leaving a daughter, who married her cousin Thomas Vereker, of 
Roxborough, and two surviving sons, Thomas and John. For his second son, Charles Lennon, 
Colonel of the celebrated Irish Regiment, the Green Horse, (which was raised in 1685, and after 
a glorious career as the 2nd Horse, has been styled the 5th Dragoon Guards since 1788), had died 
unmarried, two years previously, when on his passage to Bordeaux, and within sight of that city, 
which was then popular as a sanatorium, but which was soon to prove equally fatal to his elder 
brother Thomas. 

This estimable gentleman served as High Sheriff of the County in 1770; as Mayor of Limerick 
in 1765 and 1776 ; and as M.P. from the latter year to his death. He was an ardent lover of 
his native city — introduced many improvements in the management of the corporate income — 
was a warm friend of the Volunteer movement, and Colonel of the Limerick Regiment — and in 
fine, took the greatest interest in the prosperity of Limerick. Being compelled by ill health to 
sail for Lisbon, he was driven into Bordeaux by stress of weather, and died there, having specially 
desired his body to be brought back to Limerick, where he was interred at St. Munchin's with 
solemnity, on the 7th April, 1785. 

By his death, the familj^ influence in the Corporation and City devolved on his brother, John 
Prendergast, Esq., of Gort, then M.P. for Carlow. He had served in the Royal Irish Dragoons, 
and was fhen Lieutenant-Colonel of the Limerick Independents, and afterwards Colonel of the 
Limerick City Militia. On inheriting the Smj'th estates he took that name after Prendergast, 
and was eventually created Viscount Gort, with remainder to his nephew, the Right Honourable 
Charles Vereker, who succeeded him ; and was father of John Prendergast, present and third 
Viscount; who, like his predecessors in the title, has served as M.P. for Limerick, and as Colonel 
of the City Regiment of Militia, the Smyth and Vereker families having occupied the former post 
for 87 consecutive years; and the latter since the first enrolment of the Regiment, 14 April, 1793 
— now (1864) 71 years. 

eldest son, married Anne, daughter and heir of Sir Nicholas Osborne, the fifth Baronet, of Knock- 
moane, in Waterford, was father of Thomas, Sheriff of Limerick in 1762, and Mayor in 1767; 
who, marrying his cousin, Juliana Smyth, died 16 November, 1801. 

He was succeeded in the Roxborough estate by his eldest surviving son, Charles, afterwards 
Viscount Gort. He was born in 1 768, the year of his father's mayoralty, when that civic office 
had been distinguished by unusual hospitality and splendour. Charles Vereker entered the navy 
in 1781, and served in her H.M.S. Alexander at the spirited relief of Gibraltar in the following 
year. But the preliminaries of peace being signed within two months after the return of the 
Fleet to England, he then left the navy, and obtained in 1785, a commission in the 1st Royals. 
He served with them until his marriage in 1780, with Mrs. Stamer, daughter of Mr. Westropp, 
of Attj-flin ; a lady whose premature death in 179'^ was much regretted, and deservedly so, if we 
can trust the contemporary journals; for the IJmerich Chronicle in April, 1782, when recording 
her first marriage, describes her as " the very amiable Jliss Westropp, daughter of Ralph. 
Westropp, Esq., of Attyflin, with an immense fortune ; " and again on reporting her second 
marriage, calls her "a young lady possessed of every amiable qualification to render the married 
state happy," 

The year after his marriage Mr. Vereker was elected M.P. for Limerick ; and became Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the City Militia in 1793, commanding that Regiment on its first march to Birr, on the 
19th July in that month. At its head he fought the battle of Coloony, which shall be referred to 
hereafter, which, occuring immediately after the notorious " Races of Castlebar," was important 
in its effects. These are well described in the patent by which George III. granted him 
supporters to his arms, for " the great ability and courage manifested by him, the said Charles 
Vereker, when, with a detachment of 300 of our said militia he engaged the whole of the French 
and Rebel forces at Coloony, in Ireland, on the 5th day of September, 1708, by which bold and 
gallant exertion the enemy were prevented from taking possession of the town of Sligo, and were 
80 effectually embarrassed and delayed, that our forces were enabled to come up with, and to 
entirely defeat them." 

Colonel Vereker continued to serve with his Regiment until it was disembodied after the Battle 
of Waterloo. For many years M.P. for Limerick, a Privj^ Councillor, Lord of the Irish Treasury, 
Governor of the City of Limerick, and the last to hold the ancient feudal oflice of Constable of its 
Castle, he eventually succeeded his uncle as Viscount Gort, and became an Irish representative 
Peer; but his political life is too recent and well known to render further details necessary. 

John Vereker, Sheriff of Limerick in 1763, and Mayor in 1769, was the third sou of Connel 
Vereker, of Roxborough 

Amos Vereker, who was Sheriff of Limerick in 1 778, was the second son of the above Joha, 
and father of Dr. Vereker of Limerick. 



will, he bestowed upon the Rev. gentleman a gold ring, with a beautifully 
executed miniature portrait of the King — a perfect masterpiece of art — set 
in crystal.' 

At one in the morning of the eighth, King William sent out nine hundred 
horse and two hundred foot, detached out of the Eegiments of Oxon, Tre- 
lawney, Cuts, Lanier, Loyd, and Danes, under the command of Herr Ben- 
tiuck, Earl of Portland, and Brigadier Stewart, &c., who advanced within 
cannon-shot of the city, notwithstanding the opposition made by three 
regiments of the Irish foot, one of horse, and another of dragoons, who stood 
but one volley, though they had the cover of the hedges through which they 
fired. About four hours after, the detachment returned to the camp, and 
gave William an account of the position of the Irish. About seven o'clock, 
P.M., William himself proceeded with a fresh party of 200 select horse, being 
accompanied by Prince George, Major-General Ginkle, the Herr Overkirke, 
and other great officers, and approached within two miles of the city.^ 





Forty days after the battle of the Boyne, William appeared before 
Limerick, not indeed without a trembling apprehension of the consequences 
— because, though he had been made aware of the existence of divided coun- 
cils within, and though a large portion of the French army had already gone 
to Galway to take shipping for Prance, the advice of Sarsfield and the majority 
of the Irish officers had prevailed to defend the city to the last. Boisseleau had 
been left in command of twenty thousand Irish soldiers, not one half of 
whom had been armed.^ Three thousand five hundred horsemen were en- 
camped, in addition, within five miles of Limerick, beyond the river Shannon, 
and kept up a free communication with the city. 

Limerick, at this period, was not the Limerick of to-day. Within the time, 
no city in Ireland or England has undergone so extensive a change, and such 
wonderful improvement. The city was then confined within the walls of the 
Englishtown and the Irishtown, but both were distinct ; whilst forty or fifty 
years before, as we learn from Dr. Thomas Arthur's MSS., portions of the 
Irishtown were a suburb — the south suburb of the city. The chief houses 
of business, the dwelhngs of the gentry and nobihty, the Cathedral, the 
churches, the gaol, and the Courthouse, were in the Englishtown. It was 
here that the Lord of Brittas, the Earl of Thomond, Sec. &c., had their resi- 
dences. The bright river washed the walls which ran in a hue with King John's 
Castle, where the Castle Barracks now are, and with the ground on which 
the City Gaol and the City and County Court House now stand, down by 

' This heir-loom has been preserved with a tender care for orer 170 years in the Cripps 
famil^v. Tlie ring is for the little linger, but massive and of the tinest gold — and the setting is 
as fresh and as faultless as if it had come from the hands of the goldsmith. We know nothing 
more interesting as a token of regard from a Royal hand to one who had done him a service. 

2 The enemy were come so near, with some of their outguards, that Jlolleneux says they could 
hear them " talk with their damn'd Jrish brogue on their tonyues, but they were separated from 
us," he adds, " by a bog, which was very deep, and so situated that we could not possibly 
attack them." 

2 Memoirs of King James, quoted in O'Callaghan's Macaria Excidium. 


Merchant's Quay, George's Quay, &c., till they met at Ball's Bridge. The 
wall then went round by the Island and the Abbey, meeting at St. Munchin's 
Church, and joining Thomond Bridge, where also there was a gate. The old 
maps and plans of the city show that, though it was confined within com- 
paratively narrow limits at this time, it was handsome and regidar, particu- 
larly when viewed from the river, to which it showed a noble frontage v/est- 
ward, old St. ]\lary's Cathedral, with its towers, then, as now, a prominent 
object in the foreground. The New Town, now the finest portion of the city, 
and the great centre of its trade, was not built for seventy years afterwards. 
Meadows and corcasses then occupied the grounds down to the water's edge. 
Captain Creagh, an old and highly respectable gentleman, who died 
some years ago in Cashel, informed me in 1851, that he remembered 
shooting snipe in Patrick-street, on the ground on which the houses of which 
the office of the Reporter and Vindicator, is one, are built ! — that the ground 
in question was a marsh which the tide covered, and that it Avas deemed 
unfit for building on when he was a boy. The walls in the Irishtown were 
of recent construction as compared with the Englishtown — that is, they were 
built at intervals of time, commencing in the fourteenth century ; they were 
occasionally repahed, and they were not extended throughout until the early 
part of the seventeenth century. 

The streets in the Enghshtown, at this time, were " the Great Street," 
now Mary-street and Nicholas-stieet, which bisected the town, and from 
which ran Fish-lane, Prison-lane, Change-lane, Stag-lane, Bishop's-laue, 
Merritt's-lane, Whitehouse-lane, Eed Lion-lane, Plag-lane, Broad-lane 
which joined St. Munchin's Church ; and lower down on the same side was 
Meetinghouse-lane; at the other side, where the Cathedral stands, were 
Creagh,' first called Crevaagh-lane, Quay-lane, Bow-lane, (perhaps originally 
Bough-lane or Creagh-lane;) Newgate-lane, near the Castle, with Castle-street 
leading to Thomond Bridge. The small lane which divides the large house 
said to have been Sir Geoffrey Gallway's Castle, from the Exchange, was 
called afterwards. Churchyard-lane, and then Gridiron-lane. The English 
Town was surrounded by a wall, which had Fish Gate, Prison Gate, Abbey 
Gate, Little Island Gate, Barrack Gate, Island Gate, and a bastion near St. 
Munchin's. At the other, or river side, there were Creagh Gate and the 
Castle Gate. The streets in the Irishtown were, Mungret-street, Palmers- 
town-street, and the various intersecting lanes, with Broad-street and 
John-street, to John's Church. A wall ran around the entire of the Irish- 
town ; and the gates were East and West Water Gate, Mungret Gate, and 
John's Gate. An imaginative writer describes the city at this period as 
very like a spider, whose narrow waist might be said to be Ball's Bridge, 
which, in our memory, had houses on each side of it, and was so narrow that 
even two cars could not pass at the same time. Subsequently, the houses 
on the east side were thrown down.2 

' Creagh, (or Crevaagh) the Irish for bongh. The name of an ancient and respectable family 
in Limerick descended from the O'Neils, who wore green boughs in their caps during a victory 
over the Danes. 

2 A plan of Limerick in the British Museum gives a description of the city soon after this time ; 
it shows that the English Town stands upon the highest ground in the Island on which the city 
is built ; the Great Street runs along the summit, and it falls gradually upon each side, but 
rather more considerably on the West. From the Castle to Ball's Bridge descends every way, so 
as not at first to be perceived. From Ball's Bridge to John's Gate the ascent i-; next to a flat, 
but it grows greater out of the Gate, and continues so for S-iO yards from the Wall. The ascent 
from tlie Bridge to Mungret Gate is rather more, and without sides as far as the outworks 
extends, ia more considerable than anywhere else ; but farms on it seem to be on a flat. Tha 

228 mSTORY OF limeuick. 

It was now resolved at a Council of war, at which William presided in 
person, to march towards the citj in order of battle, for they were aware 
that the country being very close, the Irish soldiers lined the hedges, 
and had determined to fight it out with undiminished valor. As they moved 
from the height of Park through the boggy ground towards the citadel, two 
great guns, which were mounted on the Abbey of the Canons Eegular of St. 
Augustin near Ball's Bridge,^ did much mischief to them. Between six 
and seven in the evening William ordered a trumpeter to be sent with a 
summons to the city, as a deserter had previously informed them, a great 
part of the garrison, with some of the officers, were for capitulating ; but 
Monsieur Boisseleau, the Governor, the Duke of Berwick, and Colonel Sarsfield, 
&c. resolutely opposed it, telling the garrison of the great divisions that were 
in England; upon which 50,000 French had made a descent they said; and the 
Prince of Orange would be obliged to draw off his army in a few days, to 
defend the kingdom of England, and thereupon prevailed upon them to 
stand to their arms. The trumpeter was sent back with this answer from 
Monsieur Boisseleau, the Governor, that as King James had entrusted him 
with the garrison, he would recommend himself to the Prince of Orange by 
a vigorous defence. About eight at night William went to his camp a short 
mile from the city, having been on horseback from four in the morning, 
giving the necessary orders, and exposing himself amidst dangers, in which 
the Prince of Denmark everywhere accompanied him. The cannon ceased 
not all the time to play from the city, several of the shot coming over 
WiUiam^'s tent and falling near it.^ The same evening a party of the Eoyal 

ground between the Shannon and the Road to the Lime Kiln is no higher than that which Irish 
Town stands upon : and between Dublin Road and the River to the East, chiefly a Slorass. The 
countrj' being between those roads round the town, is somewhat higher than that which the 
works are built upon. The countr}- that lies west of thecity, on the Thomond side, commands 
the town more than anywhere else, except that which lies east of the English Town, but the 
breadth of the Sliannon in the first, and the branch of the River at the !Morass in the second, 
pretty well secure both from any attempt. There are near forty yards of the Wall in a very bad 
state below Ball's Bridge. The Wall round the English Town is chiefly in a very bad condition, 
but that round the Irish Town is much better. Where the houses join the Wall, or are built 
upon it, they are coloured with a faint red in the map. The Ramparts were continued formerly 
farther towards west Water Gate. There are mills and breweries, a fort in ruins, outworks in ruins. 

1 White's MSS. 

* This tent was situated in Singland, where the " pillar standard," on which William raised his 
flag, may yet be seen. 

In this parish of Singland, or St. Patrick's, there are some remarkable relics of the siege ; one 
is "this Standard Pillar" of King William (so called), and is pointed out by the inhabitants as 
the pillar on which the Royal Ensign of William was raised during the siege of 1600. It is 
on the high road which leads to Singland House, and is sometimes called " the Pillar " simph- by 
the people ; but every one in the parish, or at least in that portion of it, in which the pillar 
may be seen, tells it was there the King had his standard, as it was in the same spot, most likely, 
be had liis tent, and was encompassed by his staff. It is built of "ashlar" masonry, thirteen feet 
high and about three feet in diameter; the stones are rather large, and in most instances they 
are roughly chissled ; it is situated on a rise in tlie road, about 100 yards from Singland House. 
A short wall or butress is built up against it to the N.W,, and appears to be contemporaneous ia 
structure with the pillar itself ;a few cabins to the S.E. are just close up by the pillar on that side, 
and even the children there say that the pillar had something to do with " the war." About a 
thousand yards distance to the N., in a direct line, is New Castle House, in which it is asserted 
King William spent some of his time during the siege. The other object here of interest 
connected with the siege is " King William's Well,'* which is about 100 yards from the pillar, and 
in a Held about 50 yards from the high road, and nearly opposite Singland House, on the other 
side of the road. A stream of pure water runs to the road from tlie well, and joins another 
stream from the well of Shesharee, which is some distance off, on another road. King William's 
■well is deep, but covered with a thick coating of leaves and greenish, weedy, deposit, which 
conceal its waters from the view — at least so it was on the beautiful evening I visited the locality. 
Tradition says that a large flag or standard lies buried in a field near the well. There are other 
evidences hereabouts, that it was the site of a camp ; and the well is said to have supplied 


Regimeiit_, and other dragoons, were sent to view the ford of Annaghbeg,' 
of which William was informed, and which he proceeded to visit him- 
self, a place about two miles above the city, where six of King James's 
regiments, three of horse, and two of dragoons commanded by Berwick 
and Lutterell, were posted at the other side of the river, with a breast-work 
to cover them ; these all fired upon the soldiers of William, but a}Dparently 
■with little efi'ect, as few were killed or wounded. It was expected by the 
Wniiamites that they would meet with great difficulties and dangers in the 
passage of the river — first, because the troops of the besieged were so 
advantageously placed — and secondly, because the river at this season of 
the year was particularly swollen and rapid ; but they did not. Tradition 
states that the ford or pass, through which the hostde army passed 
over to the Clare side of the river, was betrayed by one MacAdam, who is 
said to have lived by fishing on the Shannon, and that his knowledge of the 
fords of the river was consequently very good. He is said to have conveyer! 
private information as to the place where the army of William might pass 
with safety ; and in order, if possible, to escape the odium of having been 
supposed voluntarily to sell the pass, he feigned sickness on the approach of 
the besieging army, whilst all the other fishermen ran off to the woods of 
Cratloe and the Clare mountains, as well to avoid being present as in fear of 
their Hves from the cruelty of William''s soldiers. As the army approached, 
a block and hatchet and a keg of gold were placed outside the door of the 
betrayer, who was accompanied bya boyof the neighbourhood, who had rowed a 
boat. The rich lands adjoining were pointed out to him. He was asked which 
he selected — the gold and the lauds, or the hatchet and death. The tradition 
goes on to say that as he had already determined, he at once proceeded to point 
out to the encpiirers the only place in that portion of the river which they 
could pass in the manner they desired. A rock was near the river bank, 
some few perches above the old churchyard of Kilquane, and to this rock, 
ever since called Carrig-a-Clouragh, or Chain- rock, were attached chains, which 
are said to have crossed the river from Corbally, nearly opposite Corbally House 
on the Limerick side. Abridge of boats, or a pontoon bridge, was thus con- 
structed by the engineers. The rock appears to have been cut umbrella-like, 
or of mushroom shape, in order the more securely to hold the chains. For 
many years it was an object of singular curiosity : men of science, archeeo- 
logists, historians, enquirers, and patriots from all parts of Em'ope were in 
the habit of visiting it in the course of their tours to Limerick. — There were 
shallow holes in the top of Carrig-a-Clouragh, and when rain fell, the holes, 
thus filled with water, appeared as if saturated with blood, the stone being 
of a reddish colour. About twenty years ago Captain Hamilton Jackson, 
the then proprietor of this land, the portion of which in question has since, 
and within the last few years, been purchased by a prosperous laud holder of 
the neighbourhood,^ ordered a servant, named Council, to blast the rock; but 

William's troops with water during both sieges. I have never in any place met people more 
ready than they are in this particular locality, at the traditions connected with the siege, and 
in showing where the well, the standard pillar, &c., are placed. They say too that it is here the 
great war for the deliverance of Ireland, which is looked forward to with so longing a desire by 
the people, is to begin and end — a circumstance referred to by O'Donovan in one of his notes to 
the Annals of the Four Masters. 

1 Samuel Foxon, a Dutch merchant, who had been mayor of Limerick in 1666, and at one 
time a tenant of the fisheries, owned the lands of Annaghbeg at this time, on which he built a 
large brick house, the ruins of which were visible in 1785. He was knighted by William for 
certain services. 

2 Mr. Robert Holmas of Athlunkard. 



tlie act was but partly accomplished^ and Carrig-a-Clouragh yet remains 
to fix the spot where William made his successful passage. Townsfolk for a 
long period^ and up to the last few years, were in the habit of going out to 
KHquane on Sundays, and heaphig every indignity on the grave of the alleged 
traitor. A couplet was also cut on the tombstone, and, as a specimen of 
the spirit of the poet and of the times, it deserves to be recorded : — 

" Here lies the body of Philip the traitor. 
Lived a fisherman and died a deceiver." 

Several portions of the tombstone, which lies within the old churchyard of 
Kilquane, and of the present appearance, of which the following is an exact 
sketch, have been broken in fragments : — 

Arms a Cock. [Broken] 

[Broken] H B 



29 Aged 83 YEA 




NOVbr 26 1700 AND HIS 


DECEASED June X 1708 
[Broken] [Broken] 

The stone lies flat on the ground, the head close up to the wall of the old 
church. The letters are rudely cut on a plain slab, and in the orthography 
there are some errors, whilst the quaint method of joining letters, or making 
one letter a portion of another, is observable in more than one instance.^ 

Simon Digby, Protestant Bishop of Limerick, in an autograph letter to 
Sir Eobert Southwell, at the Camp, dated DubUn, July 2£nd, 1690, now stated 
that- " he has already had one house plundered by the Irish. The Lord 
Tyrconnell had taken up his quarters in the Bishop's house at Limerick, in 
which were all the books and papers belonging to the diocese, fearmg the 
house, on the entering of the English forces, would be plundered on Tyr- 
conuelFs account, and therefore entreats some officer may be entrusted with 
the order to save it.''''^ 

And now the great achievement of the siege was being developed. A terrific 
hand to hand struggle was to be made to test the prowess of the Irish and the 
WiUiamites. The roar and thunder of the guns were now heard in every 
direction, when a French deserter from "William's camp having made his way 
into the city, gave information of the state of the Williamite artillery, which 

' It is but justice to state that the highly respectable family of MacAdam, of Blackwater House, 
near the scene of the pass, utterly deny the truth of this tradition, which, as an impartial historian, 
I am bound to give. JIajor Thomas Stannard MacAdam, J.P., of Blackwater House, has shown 
the Author documents, which go to establish the fact that his ancestors Avcre in possession of the 
lands which they now have, some years before the events here detailed ; that they rented them 
from the TCarl of Thomond, and that they did not obtain them by any act of treachery. 

2 Thorpe's Caiahr/ne of the Southweli MSS. Digby had a taste for painting— there are some 
of his miniatures at Sherbourne Castle. See Walpoles Anecdotes of Painting, Vol. III., p. 356. 


had not as yet come up infull force, but wliicli was on its way from Waterford; 
while at the same time Manus O^Brien, a country gentleman, proceeded 
to William's camp and told that Sarsfield had passed the river with a body of 
horse, and that he designed something extraordinary. Simaltaneously a 
cornet of the Irish army had gone over to William, and reported that a great 
number in the city were resolved to surrender, but were prevented by Sarsfield 
and Boisseleau. It is quite true that this French deserter visited Wilham^s 
camp, and reported that WilHam in despair of taking the city, which Count 
Lauzuu, when first he beheld it, declared might be taken with roasted apples, 
had sent for a more powerful battering train, a vast quantity of ammunition, tin 
boats, and abundant war materials for a vigorous siege. The deserter said, 
that the artillery, &c., were on their way under an escort of a few troops of 
Ydliers's horse. And no doubt they were on the road from Cashel. And now 
having called together his faithful staff, Sarsfield made every preparation to 
prevent the advance of the approaching train. In the first instance he 
selected five or six hundred horse and dragoons, whose swords were sharp to 
execute vengeance, and whose souls were nerved for the occasion. He was 
thoroughly aware of the advantages to be obtained by the presence, in the 
expedition, of "Galloping" Hogan, a well educated, popular man, and a brave 
raparee. Hogan knew every pass and defile — was familiar with every track 
and roadway — with every ford and bog — and in a critical juncture like the 
present, was the best man that could be obtained to give effectual assistance 
to the grand exploit of the dashing, dauntless Irish general. 

Sarsfield, thus equipped and accompanied, left Limerick on the night of 
Sunday, the 10th of August, for Killaloe. His route lay through Harold's 
Cross, near Blackwater ; a sweet and romantic spot, which to this day is 
invested with picturesque charms which are universally admired. A 
fine harvest moon lent Hght to the landscape. He could not venture over 
O'Brien^s Bridge ; for that old pass between Clare and Tipperary, of which so 
much has been said in the time of the Eighth Henry, was jealously guarded 
by the soldiers of William, prepared to meet any attack that might be made 
upon them. The cavalcade passed through Bridgetown and Ballycorney, 
the Shannon being all the time on their right. At Ballycorney Bridge a family 
whose name was Cecil resided — a Protestant family. • The party called on a 
young man, a son of Cecily's, requiring that he should go with them. Refusal 
was vain ; and he at once prepared to accompany the squadron, which Avent 
on till they had reached Killaloe ; and here, passing down by Law^s Fields, at 
the back of the town, they dashed on with gallant, yet cautious resolution ; and 
before suspicion could be aroused, the entire party had passed and were at 
the Tipperary side of the river; having gone uj) beyond the bridge, they 
crossed the ford between the Pier Head and Ballyvalley. This was one of the 
only two fords which were on the Shannon, about Killaloe at this period — 
the other ford was at Clarisford.^ An old road ran to the Keeper mountains 
through the village of Ballina. The bridge was occupied by Williamite 
troops who guarded the pass, but never witnessed the masterly movement 
of Sarsfield, who, it is certain, was well able to force the passage; but this 
was not his aim. It was his object not to create alarm or awaken suspicion. 
The party then proceeded across the country between Ballina and Boher, 

' Those statements are given from popular tradition. 

' Within the hist thirty years some changes have heen made in the fall river bv t! e Com- 
missioners of the Shannon Navigation, and the ford at Ballyvalley is somewhat altered. 


coming out on the Boher road, near Labadhy Bridge. When at this bridge, 
the party, who were conducted by Galloping Hogan, were startled by a 
curious incident. Sarsfield discovered, near Labadhy Bridge, a number of 
men on his left, whose presence excited alarm. He ordered the horse to halt, 
apprehensive that he had been betrayed by Hogan. But the delusion was 
dispelled in a instant ; the men whose presence caused so much alarm were a 
body of Eaparees who had a den or hiding place here, in which they were 
accustomed to conceal whatever provisions they had taken in their predatory 
excursions throughout the district. The party passed on through Morrisey's 
Bogs.i, j^nd continued on their route through Kdloskully, until they reached 
Keeper Hill, where in the fastnesses of the mountain, they encamped for the 
night, and where, among many others, Sarsfield it is said was visited by one 
of the old O^Eyans of that country, who offered him hospitality. On the 
following morning videttes were sent to watch the advance of the expected 
artillery train of William, and to report progress. In a short time it was 
intimated to Sarsfield that the guns and ammunition were on their way to 
Limerick, and that the English forces were to encamp for the night near the 
hill of Ballyneety, a remarkable conical eminence which maybe seen from a great 
distance, somewhat near Derk.^ Sarsfield went next night and arriving near 
the hill, he halted. And here lay a principal difficulty, namely, how to 
discover the watchword of the Williamites. An accident obtained the desired 
information. One of SarsfiekVs troopers, whose horse got lame, fell into the 
rere of his party: he met the wife of one of William's soldiers who had 
remained behind the WiUiamites on their march, and taking compassion on 
her, he enabled her to proceed on her journey. By this means the trooper 
obtained the watchword of the English. The word was " Sarsfield." Pro- 
ceeding on, he joined Sarsfield who was in the greatest anxiety for the watch- 
word, but the difficulty was speedily dissipated. Now everything was in 
readiness to make the grand stroke on which Sarsfield had set his heart, and 
which was to decide the fate of the campaign, as he had anticipated it would, 
and as the result, in the judgment of all military men, proved it really did. 
The convoy lay asleep under their guns, their horses were at rest; the encamp- 
ment was still as death; no danger appeared; all were in imaginary security, 
free from the slightest suspicion of the blows that were about coming thick and 
heavy upon them. 

It was moonlight, with occasionally flitting clouds. No time was lost in 
making everything ready. When the clouds gathered heavily for a few 
moments, Sarsfield, at the head of his men, accompanied by Galloping 
Hogan, with Cecil near him, cautiously proceeded down the hUI. As the first 
sentinel was approached, the challenge was given, and was replied to by the 
watchword " Sarsfield." Inspired with vengeance and deter mmation, Sars- 
fiekrs men who had resolved to revenge the wrongs inflicted on their country, 
on those whom they had withm their grasp, entered within the encampment, 
when a second sentinel gave the challenge — and " Sarsfield" again was the 
reply, adding, " Sarsfield is the watchword — Sarsfield is the man" — at the 
same moment shooting down the sentinel, which was the signal to the cavalcade 
to execute the work which they had so bravely volunteered to perform. In a 

' This was about three hundred yards of Ballina Cottage, the late residence of the Rev. Thomas 
P. Maher, some time ago the respected P.P. of that parish, now of Lougbmoe, Co. Tipperary. 
" Labadhy'' signifies " the bed of tlie Rogues." 

» Ballyneety or White's town is about 14 miles from Limerick. Cola is the next railway station. 


moment tlie Irish soldiers fell on the astonished and half sleeping WiUiamites, 
who knew not where they were^ or what was the cause of the terrible calamity 
they so suddenly and unexpectedly witnessed.^ 

Scarcely any resistance was offered. The men were sabred and shot to 
death where they lay. Then Sarsfield had their cannon loaded to the muzzle^ 
sunk in the earth and discharged, with an explosion which was heard even in 
the city itseh. 

The principal occupation of these foreign troops was hanging all un- 
fortunate Irishmen who came in their way, under pretence that they were 
raparees, really because they were true to the cause of country and creed. It 
is no wonder that the Irish should have revenged such horrors. 

One of the principal guns which Sarsfield had in Limerick was called 
Sheela Buoy, or Yellow Sheela; which is erroneously said to have been taken 
on this occasion, when all the guns were destroyed. After this magnificent 
achievement he returned to the camp at Limerick by another route — not, as 
Dr. Mulleneux says, by Athlone^ — and lost not a moment in gathering together 
the tired men who had accompanied him in the expedition, and knowing that 
William would adopt every stratagem to prevent his return to the besieged city, 
he went back to Limerick by Banagher, where he crossed the bridge, one of the 
arches of which he blew up, in order to stop the pursuit of the English horse, 
which were close upon him. Nothing could equal the intense joy and satisfac- 
tion with which the garrison within the walls heard of this signal advantage. 
According to King Jameses memoirs " the garrison was hugely encouraged^'' — 
and when Sarsfield safely returned with his brave band of faithful raparees and 
Dragoons, the rejoicings that ensued chased away every apprehension, and every 
one felt confident of success in the issue of the siege. William, however, 
was not to be overthrown by this discomfiture — he always threw heart and 
soul into the cause he espoused. His constant saying not only at Limerick, 
but throughout the campaign was, "this is a country worth fighting for," a 
saying which Cromwell before him is said to have often used. Had James 
been actuated by a proper spirit at the Boyne, the battle would not have been 
lost, nor need the unfortunate monarch have made a precipitate flight from 
Ireland, where the desertion and irregularities of the French under Lauzun, at 

1 Captain Eobert Parker says (Memoirs, p. 23) : " The enemy" (the Irish) " having had a 
particular account of their route, detached Sarstield with a good bodj- of Horse and Dragoons to 
intercept it ; and he passed the Shannon at Killaloe, came up with the train in the night between 
the 1 1th and 12th of August, as they lay encamped at Cullen (near Ballyneety) about eleven 
miles from our camp ; and falling suddenly on them when all were asleep, they burned and 
destroyed everything that could be of any use to us. They burst the cannon by overloading 
them, and putting their muzzles in ground, then setting fire to them, they went off without the 
loss of a man. " This was a well conducted affair," (adds Captain Parker) " and much to Sarsfield's 
honour" — but he remarks, " had there not been so much cruelty in the execution of it ; for they put 
man, woman and child to the sword, though there was not much opposition made. However," ex- 
claims Captain Parker, " we cannot suppose that so gallant a man as Sarsfield certainly was, could 
be guilty of giving such orders ; it is rather to be presumed that in such a juncture he could not 
restrain the natural barbarity of his men." 

^ The Duke of Berwick, in his memoirs, says that it was this coup that defeated the projectors 
of the siege. " Limerick was weak of itself and ill fortified — and besieged by the army of the 
Prince of Oranrje. Limerick being open on several quarters, bore many assaults ; but Count 
Sarsfield, with a body of six hundred horse and dragoons, having taken and blown up the enemy's 
artillery, as it was on the road from Kilkenny to their camp before Limerick, the Prince of 
Orange was forced to raise the siege of that place, after having suffered a considerable loss." — 
Life of the Duhe ofBenoick, pp. 39, 40. 

' Molleneux and Storey fully sustain this account of the magnificent achievement of Sarsfield, 
and indeed all the writers of the time and since agree in declaring that there never was a nobler 
or a bolder instance of successful strategy at any period, or under any combination of circum- 


a moment wlien their aid was most essential^ liad been producing their fatal 
results on the army, and on the councils of all the generals with two excep- 
tions — viz. Sarsfield and Boisseleau. This achievement at Balljneety was 
infinitely servicable^ only Major James Fitzgerald and fifteen others were killed 
by Sir Albert Cuuningham^s Dragoons, in their pursuit of the returning Irish. 

And here we find a character introduced on the stage who had not made 
his appearance previously — no less a personage than the celebrated Baldearg 
O^Donnell, who had made his escape from Spain, contrary to the will of 
Austria, then in league with England. He having come by a circuitous route by 
which he was enabled to visit Turkey, and arriving at Kinsale just as James 
had quitted Ireland for France, thousands of the Irish soldiery thronged 
around him ; Bishops and Priests hailed his advent with ten thousand 
welcomes ; he made a pompous entrance into Limerick, where his appearance 
created a tremendous sensation in favor of the cause among the defenders of 
the city. There were many prophecies afloat that an " O^DomieU. with a 
red mark was to be the Liberator of his country — that he was to gain a 
battle under the walls of Limerick.''^ Here then was Baldearg O^Donnell 
face to face with the enemy. • 

On the remarkable day when the disastrous news reached William's camp, 
an expedition was sent against Castleconnell, that famous old fortress of 
the powerful De Burgos, which had sustained the national cause through many 
vicissitudes. The besieged submitted, and to the number of 128 were 
brought prisoners to William's camp. Castleconnell was retained in the 
hands of William till the siege was raised, and then it was blown up.^ 

From the moment when the earth shook beneath the volcano at Bal- 
Irneety, WilKam well knew that the game was up — that the day was lost. 
Five days had elapsed before Wihiam or his Generals could make a manoeuvre 
to repair the injuries which this stunnuig blow had inflicted. 

The extent of the battery train destroyed by Sarsfield consisted of six 24 
and two 18 pounders, with five mortars, 155 waggons of artillery ammuni- 
tion, 12 carts of biscuit, 18 tin pontoons, 400 draught horses, 100 fully 
accoutred horses. In the midst of his disasters, WilKam thoughtfally issued a 
proclamation ordering tithes to be paid to the Protestant clergy, in the 
north of Ireland. ^ 

' Lord Mellfort, King James's Ambassador at Rome, writing to his correspondent, Mr. Nelson, 
Sept. 9th, 1690, says, " There is new life come amongst the Irishmen upon the arrivall of the old 
heir of the familj' of Tyrconnell, O'Donald, of whom they pretend or prophecj'- that he is to 
obtain a victory of the English near Limerick. So far the people are led by this fanc^-, that the 
very frj'ars, and some of the Bishops, have taken arms to follow him, but I am affrayed that they 
will forget all when the danger draws near." — Macanm Excidium (O'Callaghan's, p. 430.) 

Storey saj's, " It's incredible how fast the vulgar Irish flocked to him at his first coming, so 
that he had got in a small time seven or eight thousand Rapparees, and such like people, together, 
and begun to make a figure ; but after a while the business cooled, and they Avere wearj' of one 
another : and he is now only a Colonel in Limerick. They have another prophecy also, that he 
should come to the field above Cromwell's Fort, where stands an old church, where, on a stone 
hard by, we should pitch our utmost colours, and afterwards be undone, with a thousand such 
like fopperies not worth naming." He was called Bealdarrig Rhoe O'Donnell, and was born and 
educated in Spain. 

* Dean Storey got a grant of £200 for powder to blow up Castleconnell — a large sum in those 
times for such a purpose ; and no small portion of which was expended in the Avork of devasta- 
tion, as the ruins of that proud and magnificent castle show even at this daj' — lying as they do 
in enormous confused masses strewed about, and covered as they arc with tlie litchen, 
through which the national shamrock struggles into growtli in perennial beauty, as if vindicating 
the soil from the pollution with which it was covered by the ruthless savagery of the followers 
of the Prince of Orange in 1690. 

3 Storey. 


It was on the 17tli — six days after the glorious acliievement at Balljoieety — 
that the Williamites began to recover from the crushing blow given by the 
strong arm of Sarsfield. William was determined to proceed with the siege. 
He sent to Waterford for another train of artillery, and on the 17th opened 
the trenches before the city. The high towers were soon levelled to the 
ground by his great guns — the besiegers who fired into the trenches, took two 
redoubts and a strong fort, but not without loss, because the garrison disputed 
every inch of ground with all the valour and resolution imaginable. On the 
20th the besieged army made a vigorous sally, which retarded the enemy's 
works, and were not repulsed until after they had made a regular 
slaughter of the besiegers, who never ceased all the time throwing red-hot 
bullets and bombs into the city, a species of missile with which the citizens had 
been unacquainted, but which did not dishearten them. They had generously 
resolved to co-operate with the troops, to suffer and die rather than fall into 
the hands of the cruel and remorseless enemy which approached them. It was 
now that the troops of William manifested their insatiable hatred. They 
put nearly every Irishman that came in their way to the sword — others they 
subjected to torture. William was everywhere. As he was proceeding 
towards Cromwell's fort, he suddenly stopped his horse to speak to an 
officer, when a twenty-four pound ball grazed the side of the gap where he 
was goiug to enter, which certainly must have dashed him to pieces, " had 
not," says the historian of the campaign, " the commanding God of Heaven 
prevented it, who still reserves him for greater matters."^ If WilKam had 
been killed at this spot, as fate was so near having it, the political conse- 
quences would have been momentous, both in England and Ireland, and the 
dynasty of the Stuarts might have had a more protracted tenure. 

Vigorous was the work, energetic and determined the efforts on both sides 
at this crisis. The Devil's Tower, which ran at right angles from St. John's 
Gate, and which was mounted with three guns, was put into a state of 
complete defence by Sarsfield; from this a galling fire was constantly directed 
against the enemy ; and every attempt on it was met with such tremendous 
resistance, that there were no means of approaching it. This toAver was 
very near where the lane to G arryowen now runs by the magnificent Catholic 
Cathedral of St. John — not far from the Black Battery. Every other portion 
of the defences was put in order with equal energy and skill. The Citadel, 
which was close by the same spot within the waUs, on which St. John's 
Eever Hospital has been since built, and nearly facing Penuywell, was placed 
in the best condition to resist the besiegers. Horn.' by hour the sappers and 
miners of WiUiam were pushing their trenches nearer the wall ; but not a 
moment was lost within the walls in preparations to g-ive such a reception to 
those without, as the indignation and hatred of citizens suggested and sup- 
pHed. Let the reader imagine the city as it was at that moment — and as 
we have already described it — limited in circumference — the principal streets, 
the Great street of St. Mary's parish — now Nicholas street and Mary street 
— the streets in John's Parish — Thorn Corr Castle which was yet standing, 
which had been built over two hundred years before, not by Thomas Kildare 
as Ferrar ignorantly says, but by Corr, or Currey, surnamed De Balbeyn, a 
celebrated merchant of Limerick, who bequeathed to the citizens his castle.* 

1 " This I saw, being then upon the Fort, as I did that other accident at the Boyne before." — 

* 3rd Hen. IV., 28th Mar. 1401. — Thomas Balbeyn, suniamed Cor, senator of Limeric'i, left by 
will to the commonality of Limerick, the Castle called Thorn Cor which he built in the middle of 


John's Churcli was small — and was tlie only building near the walls in that 
direction, except the numerous cabins outside in which just before a large 
thriving population devoted to industry had dwelt, but many of which were now 
levelled by the Danes, who here as at the Boyne formed a part of William's 
army, and who delighted in their devilish work, rejoicing when they saw the 
old forts of their ancestors in the hands of William. The streets ia this 
quarter were Mungret- street, Palmerstown, and what the French in their 
maps and plans of the city called " La Haute Rue,''' or the High-street. 
It is said that the '' Brazen Head" still in John-street, was then built. 
In St. Mary's parish the principal citizens dwelt — the nobility had their 
houses in the Great street, in the Island there were several fine resi- 
dences — a wall surrounded the entire, and from this wall belched forth the 

the southern suburbs, on this condition, if they should praj' for his soul, and if his brother Henry 
Balbeyn, of the City of Bristol, should not live at Limerick. Peter Loftus, Mayor, John 
Budston, John Robert Creagh, Bailiffs. — Arthur J\ISS. Balbeyn, who appears to have incurred 
the displeasure for a time of Henry IV. was pardoned, and settled down in Limerick. The 
Arthur MSS. contain a copy of his pardon, an inventory of his goods, his will, &c. 

His pardon was witnessed by " James Botiller, Count of Ormond, our Justiciary of Ireland, at 
Waterford, on the second day of July, in the fifth year of our reign. 

By petition endorsed by the Justiciary, and signed with his seal, and by twenty marks paid in 
Hanaper." " Everdon." 

" Sworn and delivered before John Lombard, Secondary Justiciary of our Lord, at the Court of 
Common Pleas of our Lord the King, assigned to be held at Kilkenny on the sixth da}- of August, 
in the fifth year of King Henry the Fourth [of that name?] after the conquest of England." 

By his will among other bequests he gives, as it appears, to his brother Henry Balbeyn, if he 
shall come here from England, his Castle, which he built in the suburbs of Limerick ; otherwise 
he wills that the Castle aforesaid revert to the commonality of Limerick, and let them pray for his 
soul ; he says " I also bequeath to Thomas Ilroose one tenement in the city aforesaid, near the 
Custom House of the same city, the aforesaid messuage to be had and holden, with its appur- 
tenances, by the said Thomas, his heirs and assigns for ever ; I also bequeath to Robert Arthur 
one tenement in the suburbs of the city aforesaid, said tenement with its appurtenances, to be had 
and holden by the aforesaid Robert, his heirs and assigns for ever ; I also give and bequeath to 
Nicholas Stretch, my chapel which I built in the southern part of the Church of St Mary by per- 
mission of the reverend father in (Ihrist, Richard Wale, Bishop of Limerick, the Dean and Chapter 
of the same, dedicated to St. James, the aforesaid chapel to be had and held with its appurtenances 
by the said Nicholas, his heirs and assigns for ever. I also give and bequeath to the Vicar of 
tlie Church of St. Mary my house of residence to be had and held by himself and his successors 
for ever so that they pray for mj' soul." The following is added : — 

" This will was proven and enrolled before us, Cornelius, by the Grace of God, Bishop of 
Limerick, on the first Monday after the Feast of All Saints, 1403, and the administration of all 
the goods of the said Thomas, deceased, was granted unto the executors sworn in legal form, viz., 
to make fafthful administration and render account, and to save us from all indemnities as to all 
things in the said will contained." 

" David Roche, Mayor ; Thomas Roche, and John Stackpol, Sheriffs of the city of Limerick to 
all the faithful of Christ, who shall see or hear of the present writing, greeting, eternal salvation 
in Christ. You well know that we have inspected the will of Thomas Belbeyn, of liappy memory, 
the tenor of which is as above mentioned ; and at the request of Robert Arthur and Richard 
Long, citizens of the said city, in order to give faithful testimony to this copy of the aforesaid 
will we have caused to be attached the seal of our Mayoralty. Given at Limerick on the 26th 
day of the month of August, a.d. 1499, in the fifteenth year of the reign of King Henry the 

To show how very little Ferrar, on the authority he quotes (Davis MSS.) knew of the builder 
of Thomcore Castle, or of the facts detailed about him, I quote the following paragraph from 
Ferrar's History of Limerick, p. 105 : — 

1401. Thomas Kildare, Mayor. 
" This mayor did Thomcore castle free bestow 
On the corporation, a precedent to shew 
To his successors ;— none like him we see, 
'Tis strange, 'till sixteen hundred, seventy-three. 

(Thomcore Castle stood where the old market was, in John-street.) 

There is not a word in Ferrar as to Thomas Cor or Balbeyn or as to the prayers for the soul of 
the donor, or to one or otlier of the particulars mentioned in his will. It is a question whether it 
was not after this citizen that Corrj''s or Curry's lane was called — it is near where the Castle 
stood. It was not Thomas Kildare but Balbeyn that bestowed the Castle on the Corporation. 



brazen-throated engines of war on the WilliamiteSj as they were pushing 
the siege to the most memorable crisis that occurred all through the cam- 

The shelling was constant and terrible.^ Inside^ nothing daunted, encou- 
raged rather than dismayed, the defenders redoubled their energies, making 
good what had been injured, and guided by the ablest engineers, stirred by 
the example of Sarsfield, and resting faithfully on those ancient prophecies 
by which even the English were as much as, if not more, influenced than the 
Irish, who assured themselves of a glorious victory despite of every disad- 
vantage. Though the Duke of Berwick asserts in his memoirs that the 
weather was not rainy, we are incHned, however much we respect his tes- 
timony, to agree with those who state that it was wet during this period of 
the siege. ^ 

On the 23rd in the morning one of Galmoy^s troopers went over to 
Wilham, and brought with him a boy, and four very good horses. About 
noon two captains, a lieutenant, a priest, and seventy common soldiers of the 
Irish, were brought in prisoners from Nenagh, whither General Ginkle marched 
with two thousand horse, six hundred dragoons, a regiment of foot, and two 
guns, the castle enduring a siege of twenty-four hours, and then surrendered 
at discretion.^ That afternoon two Frenchmen went over, and brought with 
them two as good horses as any in their army ; they gave an account that 
'■'■ the rogues in the city are in a miserable condition for the want of bread 
and drink, but that meat is plenty among them.''^ That night about seven 
in the evening, the besiegers played furiously into the town in several places. 
One shell fell into the great magazine of hay, which was consumed, and 
several houses were burned, the fire lasting there about six hours ; another 
set fire to a place near the Church, which was not consumed till five the next 
morning, and as that was extinguished they fired another place, which was 
blown up by the besieged. 

I have shown what has been said by English writers of our countrymen at 
this extraordinary crisis of their fortunes ; ancientand modern Limerick have 
suffered equally in their description, yet neither Harris, the biographer of 
"William, nor Lord Macaulay who dilates upon the "glaring red brick of the 
houses,^^ and the " showy shops with their shawls and china,'''' could tell the 
position of the grave of Tyrconnell, whose coffin was concealed beneath the 
pavement of St. Mary^s until certain repairs of the Cathedral which were 
executed a few years ago revealed it.^ 

' I Lave one of those enormous shells in my possession — it is IS inches in diameter weighs 

200 lbs., and is as formidable an engine of destruction as can well be imagined ! 

2 We have the fact on the authority of three eye-witnesses — namely, Storey, Molleneux, and 
Dumont, whose MSS. are quoted by Lord Macaulay, p. 675, vol. 3, in support of it. Mr. 
Lawless, in his History of Ireland, believes with the Duke of Berwick that it was not rainy 
during the siege, and that it is a mere pretence and excuse on the part of the Williamite writers 
when they say that it was. 

3 Dean Storey, in reference to this event (Dean Storey's Impartial History of the Affairs of 
Ireland, p. 127) has the following: — "This afternoon was eightj'-four prisoners brought to the 
Camp, from a Castle some twelve or fourteen miies off, called Nighacjh Round: these kept out the 
Castle for twenty-four hours against Major General Ginkell, and his party of about 1500 Horse 
and Dragoons ; thej' killed us fourteen men ; but seeing two cannon come, and the soldiers very 
busie in bringing Faggets for a Battery, they submitted to Mercy. Their Commander was one 
Captain O'Bnjan.'" In the same paragraph he goes on to state that the same " afternoon, also, 
one of Colonel Leveson's Dragoons was hanged for deserting," and that " in the evening our 
Bombs and Red-hot balls began to fly, which set part of the Town on Fire, which burnt all that 
night, destroying a great quantity of Hay, with several Houses. I remember we were all as well 
pleased to see the Town flaming as could be, which made me reflect on our Profession of Soldiery, 
not to be over-charg'd with good nature." 

* Lord Macaulay's Historj- of England, Vol. 3, p. 

5 Tradition states that the house in which Tyrconnell lived during his residence in Limerick, 


It is unquestionable, however, that in the face of fortune, regardless of 
overpowering difficulties, with a King who showed no active sympathies, with 
soldiers unpaid except in the brass money, £30 worth of which was made to 
represent at least £1000, officers and men and citizens arose in the emergency 
with a purpose never surpassed, and stood up so nobly, that until the last 
moment heroic Limerick and purest patriotism will be ever associated 
together and honored by all who value greatness struggling against over- 
powering difficulties. 

As the shot and shell of the enemy poured in and uprooted the pavement 
of the streets, multitudes of women and children were provided with a refuge 
in the Kiug^s Island, which remained in the hands of the defenders, though 
many fruitless attacks had been made upon it. Tents made up of whatever 
was available, were pitched whe